There have been a lot of complaints about how the Twins are spending, or more accurately not spending, the additional money they are getting with their new stadium. Today's signing of Glen Perkins is another example of the Twins payroll strategy. They are going to invest money in hanging on to players they develop, rather than investing huge sums in attracting expensive free agents.
Other potential targets for long term contracts or extensions this season would be Francisco Liriano, Carl Pavano, Scott Baker and Alexi Casilla. Depending on how they do this season, Ryan Doumit and Jason Marquis could also be offered extensions beyond the one year deals they signed. Together that group could easily eat up whatever difference there is in this year's payroll compared to last years.
I think this strategy makes sense. In general, high priced free agents are being paid for their past performance. They get a multi year contract that ends with them being overpaid for their declining years. The Twins are not going to fall into that trap very easily. Mauer and Morneau may end up there, but they are core players whose value to the franchise extends beyond their performance on the field.