Mauer Signs With Twins for Eight Years, $184 Million

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By Mike Gallagher

It’s been rumored for months and months and has been the talk of the offseason here in Twins territory.  But it’s finally official.

After what had been reportedly done several different times over the past few months, Joe Mauer and the Twins are set to spend the next eight years together.

Those are words Minnesota Twins fans will cherish every day Mauer dons a Twins uniform, because what he has been able to do is unlike any Twin, and perhaps any player in the history of the game.

Two gold gloves, three batting titles, an AL MVP award, all at the catcher position. These are accomplishments we have never seen at the catcher position, and things that would’ve gotten Joe Mauer ungodly amounts of money on the free agent market.

You’d think that there would be a bidding war like baseball hasn’t seen since Alex Rodriguez in 2000.  Mauer may’ve gotten a bigger contract than Rodriguez’ 10 year, $252 million dollar deal when he originally signed with the Yankees.

Rodriguez and Mauer’s situations were very similar.  Both coming from teams that have not shown the ability to win a title and both considered the best player in the AL at the time they signed contracts.  It just so happens that Rodriguez went to the big stage while Mauer was content to stay in his hometown and help the Twins in their quest for a title.

Is it worth the money?  Without a doubt.  Mauer IS the best player in the AL and with the power he showed last year, has the chance to be the greatest player to ever wear a Twins uniform.  At the moment, he’s already up there with Kirby Puckett, Harmon Killebrew, and Rod Carew.  With this deal, a lot of the club’s offensive records will fall within these next eight years.  Couple him with Justin Morneau, Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer, and Jason Kubel, and you have one of the strongest offensive cores in the league for years to come.

You also have a fan base that was worried that with the Twins perceived small budget, small ball, lack of spending approach, would leave Mauer either traded before the deadline this year, or be allowed to walk out the door at the end of this year without compensation, which would be nightmareish for Minnesota as well as small clubs everywhere, especially if he would’ve gone to New York or Boston.  But with this signing as well as the signings of Orlando Hudson and Jim Thome this winter, the Twins are showing the willingness to go out and spend money and take the necessary steps to compete with bigger budget teams for a title.  Perhaps that was what got Mauer to sign on the very lucrative dotted line.

The Twins are up to $95 million on their payroll this year, up $30 million from last year.  That number will skyrocket well over $100 million next year when Mauer’s $23 million/year goes on the books.

They were 24th in the league in payroll last year, and without the official figures being released this season yet, their $95 million would put them 13th in the league comparing that number to the payroll stats from last year.  They are able to finally spend the money they are because of Target Field and the confidence they have that the money will eventually be made back through revenue from the new stadium.

It’s a good thing too, because making the playoffs is nice, but getting eliminated in the first round gets old.  It was becoming painfully obvious that Minnesota would need to spend the money to retain Mauer and bring in key contributors to the offense as well as the pitching staff.

Pitching may still be a hold up, but the Twins have certainly taken care of their offense, specifically the catcher position, for years to come.

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Comments

  1. Beltwayboy says

    It’s nice to see the Twins be able to sign and keep Joe Mauer with the team.

  2. this is a big surprise, going against the usual twins way of doing things… a welcome surprise for twins fans, of which i am the biggest! target field, by the way, is amazing… i attended the first game there last saturday (golden gophers) & was duly impressed… i only hope i can afford to go a few times this season, as the tix prices are higher, as expected… at any rate, kudos to the twins for mauer & the new venue!

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