There has been a lot of speculation about the Twins sending Aaron Hicks to AAA to start the season as some kind of budget management strategy. This is usually based on the idea that they can save money by delaying Hicks eligibility for arbitration and/or free agency. The logic of this gets explained here for Wil Myers, the Tampa Bay prospect recently sent to AAA, Wil Myers Super Two.
Unfortunately this fairly standard analysis misses the real problem with this. If Hicks opens with the Twins and stays in the big leagues, he will get paid something near the major league minimum for three years, then he will get arbitration for three years and then he will be a free agent. That assumes that the Twins don't negotiate a longer term contract with him during that time, as they did with Denard Span. That means Hicks will be eligible for arbitration for 2016 and a free agent for 2019.
The idea of sending Hicks to AAA to start the year is that they delay his eligibility for free agency until 2020 by having him spend part of this season at AAA. If he spends enough time at AAA, they can also delay his eligibility for arbitration until 2017.
The result is that they only pay major league minimum for whatever time Hicks spends in the majors this year. And they still get six years of minimum salaries and arbitration before Hicks becomes a free agent. In essence, they are trading whatever time he misses this year while in the minors, for the 2020 season when Hicks will be 30 years old. Of course, this is a bit of a gamble since a lot can happen in seven years. If Hicks improves as he gets older, his arbitration salaries will be higher than they would have been. If the Twins negotiate a long term contract, he might very well have more leverage as an older, more established, player. So, while there are still the same six years, the financial costs of those six years may increase.
In short, there is not really any guaranteed financial advantage to delaying Hicks entry into the big leagues. Its a short-sighted strategy. Which is likely the reason Terry Ryan says the Twins don't do this, didn't do it with Joe Mauer and won't do it with Aaron Hicks.