Minnesota's $97 mil is a recent blip, though. They've been el cheapo for years.
Per Cots, Twins have close to $60 MM committed to 4 players next year - Morneau, Mauer, Cuddyer, and Nathan. Slowey is in his first year of arb, Liriano and Delmon young in their second, per the Cots spread sheet. Figure that is, conservatively, another $10 MM, plus 5 guys under contract for another $10 MM. Even if they decline arb on Capps, that's 12 guys, $80 MM (Brendan Harris is another $1.75MM). One of the 5 others is Kubel, who I only counted at his buyout ($350K) and not his option price, $5.25 MM. If that is picked up and you count him as a DH, they'd still be missing 2d - SS - 3B, and a #2 starter to replace Pavano. If you say Valencia sticks at 3d, that leaves 3 costly holes and $85MM spent. To my eye, they'll be lucky to come in at $95 MM next year.
By the way, for all of you who do not buy into the notion that you can have a low payroll when players come out of the system but that will expand when system products become arb eligible, the Twins are another example. Only* teams that are severely market limited, like Florida and perhaps Tampa Bay, dump quality players when they start earning money. The Nats aren't like that. They just have not had anyone good hit arb except Chad, who they kept until his arm fell off, and Zimmerman (and perhaps Lannan next year if you think he's good).
* Torii was gettting old and they made a good business decision. Johan was dumped in order to retain Morneau and eventually Mauer, but that was still a couple of years before the new ball park. Things might be different if Johan were just now at the end of his contract (assuming he was still healthy, too).