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What are Minnesota Sports Teams Spending?

The Minnesota Wild signed Thomas Vanek yesterday, adding a goal-scorer to an already dangerous team on the rise. 

In the second round of the Western Conference, the Chicago Blackhawks knocked the Wild out of the playoffs, but instead of sitting around, their owner (Craig Leipold) is spending more money in hopes of a making deeper playoff run next season.

The Wild’s payroll reached 63 million in 2013-2014. Zach Parise and Ryan Suter topped out at 7.5 million, while Mikko Koivu made 6.75 million, and Jason Pominville’s contract is worth 5.6 million. Vanek signed a three-year deal worth 19.5 million.

The Twins have an 86 million payroll, but it is only good for 21st in Major League Baseball. Last year, Terry Ryan actually spent some money and signed three free agents that panned out. Kurt Suzuki is hitting .304 with two home runs, 15 doubles, and 33 RBIs.  Phil Hughes is 8-4 with a 3.58 ERA and 88 strikeouts. Ricky Nolasco is 6-5 with a 5.49 ERA and 72 strikeouts. Nolasco and Hughes (20 million combined) have the second and third highest contracts behind Joe Mauer, who makes 23 million a year. Suzuki makes 2.75 million a year.

In 2013, the Vikings salary reached 97 million.  Peterson tops all Vikings players, and was able to get younger on the defensive side of the ball, adding Linval Joseph and Captain Munnerlyn.

The Timberwolves haven’t been to the playoffs in ten years, but their salary cap is at 58 million. Believe it or not, it’s actually nine million over the cap. Kevin Love’s contract takes a 14 million cap hit, but his future is uncertain. With over 60 million in guaranteed money, Nikola Pekovic’s contract hits the Timberwolves hard, too. (These numbers do not show the rookie contracts of Zach LaVine or Glen Robinson III, either).

That’s a look at how Minnesota sports teams are spending their cash on players. The Wild are the only team producing results, but the Vikings could compete again soon. A new head coach, younger defensive players, and a possible new-look offense with Teddy Bridgewater could mean big things for the Vikings in 2014. The Twins, meanwhile, have an immensely improved pitching rotation with more young arms on the farm on the horizon. The Timberwolves’ future is the only Minnesota team with an undecided future. What is Love going to do?

What do you think? Which Minnesota sports team will win the next championship?

**For comments, and story ideas, email Sam at, and follow him on Twitter @samtastad.

Zach Parise, Mikael Granlund and Jonas Brodin, Minnesota Wild vs Chicago Blackhawks, Game 3, 2014 Western Conference Semifinals
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images


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