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Jim Crikket
10-16-2012, 02:57 AM
You can view the page at http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.php?1102-Thinking-the-Unthinkable-Trade-Joe-Mauer

ScottyB
10-16-2012, 07:31 AM
I never did understand the thinking of no deferred money on Mauer's contract. It certainly would be helpful to have more money available for payroll in the present.

Webster would probably fit into the rotation immediately for the Twins. It might be nice for the Twins to include a mid-level prospect (possibly an outfielder if Elsbury is traded) so we could get a couple more players such as catcher Blake Swihart (a top 10 catching prospect who would be blocked by Mauer), and maybe one of their middle infield prospects (they have a bunch) or pitcher Brandon Workman, who also might be ready soon at age 24.

Brock Beauchamp
10-16-2012, 07:57 AM
I never did understand the thinking of no deferred money on Mauer's contract. It certainly would be helpful to have more money available for payroll in the present.

I believe the exact opposite. Mauer should be getting ~$30m right now with his contract tapering to ~$15m at the end of the deal. That way the Twins have the most flexibility to field a competitive team during his entire career, not just parts of it. When the Twins are getting the most production from him, they need less players to complement him and can afford to pay him a larger portion of the salary. The end of that contract is going to be an albatross to the team's financials. Deferred money only compounds the problem.

SpiritofVodkaDave
10-16-2012, 08:26 AM
He's not going to get traded, nor would he accept a trade.

Jim Crikket
10-16-2012, 08:28 AM
I never did understand the thinking of no deferred money on Mauer's contract. It certainly would be helpful to have more money available for payroll in the present.

I believe the exact opposite. Mauer should be getting ~$30m right now with his contract tapering to ~$15m at the end of the deal. That way the Twins have the most flexibility to field a competitive team during his entire career, not just parts of it. When the Twins are getting the most production from him, they need less players to complement him and can afford to pay him a larger portion of the salary. The end of that contract is going to be an albatross to the team's financials. Deferred money only compounds the problem.

Except that, currently Mauer's contract would eat up 23-25% of payroll (assuming a $90-100 million payroll), while by the last couple of years of the contract one would expect payrolls in general to have risen at a rate comparable to what they have over the past half decade, so Mauer's pay would, over time, account for a smaller percentage of the total nut. Of course, this assumes that at some point the Pohlads start giving Ryan more money every year to spend on players instead of less every year.

I guess I see pros and cons to both front-loading and back-loading long term contracts. In Mauer's case, I'm fine with a level contract that overpays him a bit in the first year or two when Target Field was brand new and attendance was expected to be high, regardless of how good the team was. By the end of his contract, he probably will no longer be worthy of megastar salary, but then by 2018, I'm not sure $23 million will be still reflect the going rate for a megastar.

Brock Beauchamp
10-16-2012, 08:49 AM
I never did understand the thinking of no deferred money on Mauer's contract. It certainly would be helpful to have more money available for payroll in the present.

I believe the exact opposite. Mauer should be getting ~$30m right now with his contract tapering to ~$15m at the end of the deal. That way the Twins have the most flexibility to field a competitive team during his entire career, not just parts of it. When the Twins are getting the most production from him, they need less players to complement him and can afford to pay him a larger portion of the salary. The end of that contract is going to be an albatross to the team's financials. Deferred money only compounds the problem.

Except that, currently Mauer's contract would eat up 23-25% of payroll (assuming a $90-100 million payroll), while by the last couple of years of the contract one would expect payrolls in general to have risen at a rate comparable to what they have over the past half decade, so Mauer's pay would, over time, account for a smaller percentage of the total nut. Of course, this assumes that at some point the Pohlads start giving Ryan more money every year to spend on players instead of less every year.

I guess I see pros and cons to both front-loading and back-loading long term contracts. In Mauer's case, I'm fine with a level contract that overpays him a bit in the first year or two when Target Field was brand new and attendance was expected to be high, regardless of how good the team was. By the end of his contract, he probably will no longer be worthy of megastar salary, but then by 2018, I'm not sure $23 million will be still reflect the going rate for a megastar.

There are negatives to each way of doing it but payrolls aren't going to jump that much in the 6-7 years it takes for Mauer to finish out his contract. We'll probably see a swing of $4-5m but that's still considerably less than the $7-8m in differential I'm talking about by front-loading the contract.

With the inevitable decreasing attendance as the new stadium smell wears off, the Twins are going to have a hell of a time competing with a 35 year old Joe Mauer consuming $24m while producing a .750 OPS. When he's an .850-.900 OPS player at catcher, he plays close to the level of his $24m contract. When he's a .750 OPS player manning first base and DH, that $24m is going to hurt the team.

Mr. Ed
10-16-2012, 09:13 AM
I saw that the Boston paper again speculated the Sox should go after Mauer this off season. He'd put up some pretty nice numbers banging the ball off the Green Monster.

Jim Crikket
10-16-2012, 09:27 AM
Brock, are you taking in to account the $35-40 million in additional revenue each team stands to receive from the new national TV rights deals signed with ESPN, Turner and FOX a couple of months ago? I think they kick in starting in 2014, if I recall correctly. If the Twins keep to their practice of spending half their revenues on payroll, that's an additional $17.5-20 million per year from that revenue source alone (and one could argue that, since they incur no additional operating costs to gain that additional revenue, there's no reason they shouldn't allocate more of it to salaries, but these are the Pohlads, after all, so we won't expect the impossible).

If you're right about no more of an overall swing in payroll from now through 2018 than $5 million a year, there's something terribly wrong in Twinsville.

Brock Beauchamp
10-16-2012, 09:31 AM
Brock, are you taking in to account the $35-40 million in additional revenue each team stands to receive from the new national TV rights deals signed with ESPN, Turner and FOX a couple of months ago? I think they kick in starting in 2014, if I recall correctly. If the Twins keep to their practice of spending half their revenues on payroll, that's an additional $17.5-20 million per year from that revenue source alone (and one could argue that, since they incur no additional operating costs to gain that additional revenue, there's no reason they shouldn't allocate more of it to salaries, but these are the Pohlads, after all, so we won't expect the impossible).

If you're right about no more of an overall swing in payroll from now through 2018 than $5 million a year, there's something terribly wrong in Twinsville.

I was speaking about "megastar" player salaries, not overall payroll. I should have made that more clear.

Anyway, I think this just depends on which side of the fence you fall... For me, I believe it's a more sound practice to pay a player relative to expected performance than it is to pay a flat rate.

Either way, deferred money is the worst option possible. I can live with a flat salary but deferred money is a terrible idea no matter how you look at it. You're mortgaging the future for today and that's not a sound business practice.

Jim Crikket
10-16-2012, 09:59 AM
He's not going to get traded, nor would he accept a trade.

I've read that Mauer's agent asked for an "opt out" in the Twins contract during negotiations and the Twins refused. Seems to me that either Joe or his agent were considering the possibility that the Twins might become non-competitive during the course of the contract and that Mauer might, in that case, prefer to consider other options. Back to back seasons like the Twins have just endured might seem to be exactly the kind of scenario that they were concerned about.

As I wrote, I don't expect a trade to even be considered by the Twins. That said, I wouldn't assume Mauer would necessarily refuse it if it did occur, especially If the Twins are out of contention by midseason again this year and the Red Sox are contending. If I were him, I'd certainly be open to that possibility and I can't imagine why he'd be any less receptive.

Nick Nelson
10-16-2012, 10:12 AM
Brock, are you taking in to account the $35-40 million in additional revenue each team stands to receive from the new national TV rights deals signed with ESPN, Turner and FOX a couple of months ago? I think they kick in starting in 2014, if I recall correctly. If the Twins keep to their practice of spending half their revenues on payroll, that's an additional $17.5-20 million per year from that revenue source alone
Of course, since every team is receiving the same amount, it doesn't give them one ounce of comparative advantage. All that money is likely to do is inflate contracts across the league.

SpiritofVodkaDave
10-16-2012, 11:00 AM
He's not going to get traded, nor would he accept a trade.

I've read that Mauer's agent asked for an "opt out" in the Twins contract during negotiations and the Twins refused. Seems to me that either Joe or his agent were considering the possibility that the Twins might become non-competitive during the course of the contract and that Mauer might, in that case, prefer to consider other options. Back to back seasons like the Twins have just endured might seem to be exactly the kind of scenario that they were concerned about.

As I wrote, I don't expect a trade to even be considered by the Twins. That said, I wouldn't assume Mauer would necessarily refuse it if it did occur, especially If the Twins are out of contention by midseason again this year and the Red Sox are contending. If I were him, I'd certainly be open to that possibility and I can't imagine why he'd be any less receptive.

The only reason a player asks for an opt out (see: CC, and ARod) is that they then have the leverage to make even more money down the road by holding the team hostage IF they prove to be worth the money, it has nothing to do with them thinking the team may not be competitive.

NoCryingInBaseball
10-16-2012, 11:43 AM
The biggest problem is that the Twins gave up Wilson Ramos to Washington for reliever Matt Capps in 2010. Don’t see Drew Butera as a legitimate replacement as catcher and Chris Herrmann probably isn't the guy either.

savvyspy
10-16-2012, 11:48 AM
Any team that wouldn't entertain moving Mauer after back to back 90+ loss seasons is crazy. Mauer's contract is only justifiable if you are getting elite offense (sorry 75 RBIs from the #3 hole isn't elite), defense (not even close), or at least superior performance in one of these catagories teamed with intangible benefits (highly questionable).

Breaking down the offensive performance, Mauer really isn't significantly more productive than Austin Jackson or David Murphy. He walks more so his OBS is higher but he's really not that productive otherwise and he's batting in the heart of the order.

Defensively Mauer is VERY versitile but isn't an elite catcher. He's valuble because, when healthy, he can play C, 1B, OF, & DH. This alone makes him an above average defensive option but not elite.


The intangibles are interesting. He obviously is a local guy with a huge fan base (even though it skews 16-34 and female) but he isn't a beloved figure like Puckett was nor would he be considered a clubhouse leader at all. The other thing that's hard to prove given the various factors is he doesn't seem to make the team better. He's kind of like Kevin Love in that way. He's a great player but the team isn't more successful when he plays versus when he doesn't.

Overall, I by no means think Mauer is horrible or shouldn't be the highest paid player on the team but, I think at $23 million per season you should be getting elite production somewhere and the Twins aren't.

I think they need to be open to moving just about anyone on the roster and Mauer is no exception.

YourHouseIsMyHouse
10-16-2012, 12:04 PM
Mauer is fine, but if the Twins want to get their money's worth they need to move him to #2 in the lineup. Mauer himself needs to get his defense fixed. I'd really like for him to get back to the best catcher in baseball as the title currently belongs to Posey.

DAM DC Twins Fans
10-16-2012, 12:06 PM
Should Twins consider trading Mauer?? Of course...but must receive a top level pitching prospect, and more (maybe a replacement catcher that would be better than Butera).

Will the Twins consider trading Mauer??? I doubt it.

SpiritofVodkaDave
10-16-2012, 12:51 PM
Any team that wouldn't entertain moving Mauer after back to back 90+ loss seasons is crazy. Mauer's contract is only justifiable if you are getting elite offense (sorry 75 RBIs from the #3 hole isn't elite), defense (not even close), or at least superior performance in one of these catagories teamed with intangible benefits (highly questionable).

Breaking down the offensive performance, Mauer really isn't significantly more productive than Austin Jackson or David Murphy. He walks more so his OBS is higher but he's really not that productive otherwise and he's batting in the heart of the order.

Defensively Mauer is VERY versitile but isn't an elite catcher. He's valuble because, when healthy, he can play C, 1B, OF, & DH. This alone makes him an above average defensive option but not elite.


The intangibles are interesting. He obviously is a local guy with a huge fan base (even though it skews 16-34 and female) but he isn't a beloved figure like Puckett was nor would he be considered a clubhouse leader at all. The other thing that's hard to prove given the various factors is he doesn't seem to make the team better. He's kind of like Kevin Love in that way. He's a great player but the team isn't more successful when he plays versus when he doesn't.

Overall, I by no means think Mauer is horrible or shouldn't be the highest paid player on the team but, I think at $23 million per season you should be getting elite production somewhere and the Twins aren't.

I think they need to be open to moving just about anyone on the roster and Mauer is no exception.

I like the part where you tried to use RBI's to explain how Mauer was an "elite" offensive player or whatever you were trying to say.
I also liked the part where you compared him to David Murphy.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlMwc1c0HRQ

Brock Beauchamp
10-16-2012, 12:56 PM
Any team that wouldn't entertain moving Mauer after back to back 90+ loss seasons is crazy. Mauer's contract is only justifiable if you are getting elite offense (sorry 75 RBIs from the #3 hole isn't elite), defense (not even close), or at least superior performance in one of these catagories teamed with intangible benefits (highly questionable).

Breaking down the offensive performance, Mauer really isn't significantly more productive than Austin Jackson or David Murphy. He walks more so his OBS is higher but he's really not that productive otherwise and he's batting in the heart of the order.

It's really, really hard to be "not that productive otherwise" when Joe Mauer is the best player in baseball at avoiding getting out (highest OBP).

Remember, kids... The most important thing in baseball is not getting out. Everything else is secondary.

And for the love of God, never quote RBI as an indication of performance. It's worse than useless.

Jim Crikket
10-16-2012, 01:12 PM
Of course, since every team is receiving the same amount, it doesn't give them one ounce of comparative advantage. All that money is likely to do is inflate contracts across the league.

I agree, Nick. However, since Mauer's contract calls for a level salary throughout the remaining years, none of the increased revenue will go toward increases in Mauer's own salary so his share, as a percentage of total payroll, should drop. The point I was attempting (perhaps poorly) to make is that, for that reason, I don't see his contract likely being as big of a weight for the Twins to carry in the later years as would be the case without the TV revenue boost.

Boom Boom
10-16-2012, 01:19 PM
It's really, really hard to be "not that productive otherwise" when Joe Mauer is the best player in baseball at avoiding getting out (highest OBP).

Remember, kids... The most important thing in baseball is not getting out. Everything else is secondary.

And for the love of God, never quote RBI as an indication of performance. It's worse than useless.

Well, if not getting out (OBP) is the best measure of offensive performance, then Joe Mauer must be the best offensive player in the league.

Brock Beauchamp
10-16-2012, 01:26 PM
It's really, really hard to be "not that productive otherwise" when Joe Mauer is the best player in baseball at avoiding getting out (highest OBP).

Remember, kids... The most important thing in baseball is not getting out. Everything else is secondary.

And for the love of God, never quote RBI as an indication of performance. It's worse than useless.

Well, if not getting out (OBP) is the best measure of offensive performance, then Joe Mauer must be the best offensive player in the league.

No, because there are other players that make outs at nearly the same percentage while also slugging at a much higher rate.

The poster I replied to used RBI and compared Joe Mauer to Austin Jackson. Anything more than a cursory glance at each player shows just how ridiculous that comparison is and that Mauer is obviously the superior player.

Boom Boom
10-16-2012, 01:30 PM
It's really, really hard to be "not that productive otherwise" when Joe Mauer is the best player in baseball at avoiding getting out (highest OBP).

Remember, kids... The most important thing in baseball is not getting out. Everything else is secondary.

And for the love of God, never quote RBI as an indication of performance. It's worse than useless.

Well, if not getting out (OBP) is the best measure of offensive performance, then Joe Mauer must be the best offensive player in the league.

No, because there are other players that get out at nearly the same percentage while also slugging at a much higher rate.

If only Mauer slugged as well as Miguel Cabrera he might have driven in 139 runs.

Brock Beauchamp
10-16-2012, 01:37 PM
If only Mauer slugged as well as Miguel Cabrera he might have driven in 139 runs.

It worked for Mike Trout.

Oh, wait...

y2jjj54
10-16-2012, 01:51 PM
I wouldn't trade him because I do not believe the pohlads would spent the money saved on the team. All they would do is pocket the savings and our payroll would drop.

mike wants wins
10-16-2012, 02:13 PM
It is an interesting point that as tv revenue increases, the cost of producing the team does not. So, keeping the percent applied to payroll constant just means more profit.

nicksaviking
10-16-2012, 02:22 PM
Losing Mauer's contract isn't going to help this team. Terry Ryan isn't suddenly going to be OK with signing top pitchers to 4-5 year deals just because Mauer's money is off the books. He'll still angle for his ulcer-free 1 year deals, which obvioulsy doesn't not bring top talent to town.

Also, as a poster above briefly mentioned, if Mauer's salary comes off the books, the payroll will decrease. No way will there be an additional $23 million to play with. Mauer is an asset beyond the diamond and his salary is reflective of the multiple revenue streams he brings to the team. If Mauer is gone, those revenue streams are also gone and the front office will be ordered to take it out of the payroll.

Paul
10-16-2012, 02:39 PM
Any team that wouldn't entertain moving Mauer after back to back 90+ loss seasons is crazy. Mauer's contract is only justifiable if you are getting elite offense (sorry 75 RBIs from the #3 hole isn't elite), defense (not even close), or at least superior performance in one of these catagories teamed with intangible benefits (highly questionable).

Breaking down the offensive performance, Mauer really isn't significantly more productive than Austin Jackson or David Murphy. He walks more so his OBS is higher but he's really not that productive otherwise and he's batting in the heart of the order.

...And for the love of God, never quote RBI as an indication of performance...

Just think how many RBIs Mauer would have if he had Joe Mauer batting 1st and Joe Mauer batting 2nd.

one_eyed_jack
10-16-2012, 04:31 PM
You don't trade Mauer. You build around Mauer. First of all, what are the chances you are going to make out better than your trade partner in a Mauer deal? Slim. In almost all sports trades, the team that won the trade is the team that got the best player in the deal. Who are we going to get in return that's a better player than Mauer?

Second, let's say we do get a prospect that actually develops into a superstar (though most do not). Eventually he'll want to be paid huge money too. Then what do you do? Deal him for prospects because he's not worth it?

For years the fan base complained endlessly was that the Twins were basically a farm team for the Bostons and New Yorks of the world. Now there's a cry to return to that?

one_eyed_jack
10-16-2012, 04:37 PM
Any team that wouldn't entertain moving Mauer after back to back 90+ loss seasons is crazy. Mauer's contract is only justifiable if you are getting elite offense (sorry 75 RBIs from the #3 hole isn't elite), defense (not even close), or at least superior performance in one of these catagories teamed with intangible benefits (highly questionable).

Breaking down the offensive performance, Mauer really isn't significantly more productive than Austin Jackson or David Murphy. He walks more so his OBS is higher but he's really not that productive otherwise and he's batting in the heart of the order.

Defensively Mauer is VERY versitile but isn't an elite catcher. He's valuble because, when healthy, he can play C, 1B, OF, & DH. This alone makes him an above average defensive option but not elite.


The intangibles are interesting. He obviously is a local guy with a huge fan base (even though it skews 16-34 and female) but he isn't a beloved figure like Puckett was nor would he be considered a clubhouse leader at all. The other thing that's hard to prove given the various factors is he doesn't seem to make the team better. He's kind of like Kevin Love in that way. He's a great player but the team isn't more successful when he plays versus when he doesn't.

Overall, I by no means think Mauer is horrible or shouldn't be the highest paid player on the team but, I think at $23 million per season you should be getting elite production somewhere and the Twins aren't.

I think they need to be open to moving just about anyone on the roster and Mauer is no exception.

---Kevin Love is a terrible comparison. You cannot expect a guy barely old enough to drink legally to win in the NBA while surrounded by a bunch of stiffs and a clueless coach. That doesn't mean he can't make a team more successful.

mike wants wins
10-16-2012, 04:40 PM
Nope, we now realize that the team will not spend money to build around this superstar while he is still a superstar. There is zero evidence they will spend the money to fix the pitching this year, and there are no players two years away from starting either, so why would they spend the money then? If they will not put good players around him, why keep him?

Jim Crikket
10-16-2012, 04:54 PM
You don't trade Mauer. You build around Mauer. First of all, what are the chances you are going to make out better than your trade partner in a Mauer deal? Slim. In almost all sports trades, the team that won the trade is the team that got the best player in the deal. Who are we going to get in return that's a better player than Mauer?

Second, let's say we do get a prospect that actually develops into a superstar (though most do not). Eventually he'll want to be paid huge money too. Then what do you do? Deal him for prospects because he's not worth it?

For years the fan base complained endlessly was that the Twins were basically a farm team for the Bostons and New Yorks of the world. Now there's a cry to return to that?

I don't think anyone is suggesting there's a "cry for" trading Mauer. I know I'm certainly not.

However, I don't think that means having a discussion of the pros and cons of such a trade should be off limits either.

I think the first place I ever heard the theory that, "the team who gets the best player in a trade wins the trade," theory was from Colin Cowerd. Hardly a source I put much stock in.

In baseball, perhaps more than any other sport, there are any number of examples where a rebuilding team that has multiple needs will trade a "big name" player to fill those needs. The A's have done it often. Sometimes it works out for them, sometimes it doesn't. You also don't necessarily know that the "best player" at the time of the trade will turn out to be the best player over the longer term. How do you think Atlanta liked the way that trade of Doyle Alexander to the Tigers for a 20-year old John Smoltz worked out for them?

Again, I don't necessarily think you're wrong about the best approach this offseason being to build around Mauer rather than trade him. In fact, I happen to agree with that approach. I'm just not so ready to completely dismiss the possibility of a trade as I used to be.

one_eyed_jack
10-16-2012, 06:44 PM
You don't trade Mauer. You build around Mauer. First of all, what are the chances you are going to make out better than your trade partner in a Mauer deal? Slim. In almost all sports trades, the team that won the trade is the team that got the best player in the deal. Who are we going to get in return that's a better player than Mauer?

Second, let's say we do get a prospect that actually develops into a superstar (though most do not). Eventually he'll want to be paid huge money too. Then what do you do? Deal him for prospects because he's not worth it?

For years the fan base complained endlessly was that the Twins were basically a farm team for the Bostons and New Yorks of the world. Now there's a cry to return to that?

I don't think anyone is suggesting there's a "cry for" trading Mauer. I know I'm certainly not.

However, I don't think that means having a discussion of the pros and cons of such a trade should be off limits either.

I think the first place I ever heard the theory that, "the team who gets the best player in a trade wins the trade," theory was from Colin Cowerd. Hardly a source I put much stock in.

In baseball, perhaps more than any other sport, there are any number of examples where a rebuilding team that has multiple needs will trade a "big name" player to fill those needs. The A's have done it often. Sometimes it works out for them, sometimes it doesn't. You also don't necessarily know that the "best player" at the time of the trade will turn out to be the best player over the longer term. How do you think Atlanta liked the way that trade of Doyle Alexander to the Tigers for a 20-year old John Smoltz worked out for them?

Again, I don't necessarily think you're wrong about the best approach this offseason being to build around Mauer rather than trade him. In fact, I happen to agree with that approach. I'm just not so ready to completely dismiss the possibility of a trade as I used to be.

---Well, it's a sports cliche that has been around a long time and has been repeated by many because it's largely true, the fact that Cowerd was one of them notwithstanding.

No, the topic of trading Mauer should not be off-limits. However, I can't picture a realistic scenario where it would be a worthwhile thing to do. Sure, you can find examples like Smoltz, but how many prospects actually develop into Hall of Famers?

If Boston were to get really stupid and offer the sun, the moon and the stars for Mauer, OK, fine. But more likely, it will be turn out to be something like what we got for Santana or the Rangers got for A-Rod that will be viewed as pretty disappointing in a couple

snepp
10-16-2012, 08:39 PM
Just think how many RBIs Mauer would have if he had Joe Mauer batting 1st and Joe Mauer batting 2nd.

He'd draw a walk to load the bases for Willingham.

:D

Jeremy Nygaard
10-16-2012, 09:32 PM
While I don't think the Twins will or should trade Joe Mauer, I would hope that coming off two 90-plus loss seasons that our GM takes every call with the intent of never fielding a 90-loss team again. So I'll play along...

Xander Bogaerts is a lot like Sano. I'd love to have them both. Maybe Bogaerts moves to 3B. Maybe that moves Sano to RF. It's all good. The best story about Xander is that their was a tryout in Aruba and the Red Sox liked his brother, Jair. After signing Jair (or agreeing to sign him), he told them they should think about signing his brother. They asked which one he was. He told them his brother wasn't there because he was home sick. All the Red Sox needed was one look...

Blake Swihart is a name that wasn't mentioned. If the Red Sox acquire another catcher, though, Swihart may become available. He would immediately become the Twins best catching prospect.

I would take either of these hitters, plus Webster or Barnes and one other mid-level prospect for Baby Jesus. But there are a lot of reasons I'm not a GM... and this might be one of them.

USAFChief
10-16-2012, 10:15 PM
I think it's an open question if another team would be willing to TAKE Mauer.

- He's owed $23M per season for each of the next 6 seasons.
- Next year will be his age 30 season.
- He no longer has a full time defensive position, although I suppose he could handle first base every day, and possibly could handle 3b or an OF position. In any case, he almost certainly will never catch full time again.
- He has a rather extensive and chronic injury history.
- He's had only one truly elite offensive season in his career, and that looks more and more like an outlier. He's managed a .500 SLG once in the last six seasons. The statheads will pooh-pooh the idea that RBI mean anything, but I doubt very many people inside professional baseball feel that way. I'm almost certain not many GMs feel that way.
- There's an argument to be made that Mauer puts butts in seats at TF, but that argument looses steam if he's not in Minnesota.

Ask yourself this...were Mauer on another team, would you be clamoring for TR to be sending Gibson and Sano to another team to acquire him?

flpmagikat
10-16-2012, 10:38 PM
Maybe, if the team wasnt so awful already.

one_eyed_jack
10-16-2012, 11:33 PM
I think it's an open question if another team would be willing to TAKE Mauer.- He's owed $23M per season for each of the next 6 seasons. - Next year will be his age 30 season. - He no longer has a full time defensive position, although I suppose he could handle first base every day, and possibly could handle 3b or an OF position. In any case, he almost certainly will never catch full time again.- He has a rather extensive and chronic injury history.- He's had only one truly elite offensive season in his career, and that looks more and more like an outlier. He's managed a .500 SLG once in the last six seasons. The statheads will pooh-pooh the idea that RBI mean anything, but I doubt very many people inside professional baseball feel that way. I'm almost certain not many GMs feel that way.- There's an argument to be made that Mauer puts butts in seats at TF, but that argument looses steam if he's not in Minnesota.Ask yourself this...were Mauer on another team, would you be clamoring for TR to be sending Gibson and Sano to another team to acquire him?


1) If RBI and SLG are your metrics for an elite offensive season, do you believe that Rod Carew only had 1 elite offensive season in his career?
2) Yes, some people continue to look at RBI as a key indicator of a player's worth. There is also still a Flat Earth Society.

kab21
10-17-2012, 12:09 AM
You keep Mauer. There really isn't much to discuss. There are already enough complaints that payroll is too low but if you don't have Mauer then you have to go out and buy more overpriced 30+ year old FA's that are declining. Money is not a problem for the Twins right now. the problem is that spending a lot in FA is a terrible return on your investment. Even worse than Joe Mauer making too much.

USAFChief
10-17-2012, 02:07 AM
I think it's an open question if another team would be willing to TAKE Mauer.- He's owed $23M per season for each of the next 6 seasons. - Next year will be his age 30 season. - He no longer has a full time defensive position, although I suppose he could handle first base every day, and possibly could handle 3b or an OF position. In any case, he almost certainly will never catch full time again.- He has a rather extensive and chronic injury history.- He's had only one truly elite offensive season in his career, and that looks more and more like an outlier. He's managed a .500 SLG once in the last six seasons. The statheads will pooh-pooh the idea that RBI mean anything, but I doubt very many people inside professional baseball feel that way. I'm almost certain not many GMs feel that way.- There's an argument to be made that Mauer puts butts in seats at TF, but that argument looses steam if he's not in Minnesota.Ask yourself this...were Mauer on another team, would you be clamoring for TR to be sending Gibson and Sano to another team to acquire him?


1) If RBI and SLG are your metrics for an elite offensive season, do you believe that Rod Carew only had 1 elite offensive season in his career?
2) Yes, some people continue to look at RBI as a key indicator of a player's worth. There is also still a Flat Earth Society.

My metrics for a truly elite offensive season include BA, OBP, and SLG. Combining all three--not just two--makes a season truly elite. Makes a PLAYER elite, particularly if he can keep it up for more than a season or two. Good, or even really, good, isn't the same as elite.

Thinking RBI are a KEY indicator of a player's worth isn't what I said, but even that would make more sense than thinking RBI have NO VALUE WHATSOEVER. Getting on base, in and of itself, is not the goal. "Not making an out" is not the goal, either. Crossing home plate is the goal.

BTW, Carew did have only one truly elite season in his career. He also had a long career with several really good seasons, and a couple really, really good seasons, followed by a long and graceful decline into retirement where he was still respectable and piling up numbers. Hence, he's a HOFer.

It's also worth noting you ignored about 90% of the post, including the question at the end.

JB_Iowa
10-17-2012, 07:47 AM
Rod Carew also averaged 37 stolen bases a year in his last 5 years with the Twins (1973-1978). He was a table setter and he was very effective at it.

Could Mauer do that? He can get on base but I don't think that his steals will ever approach 30 (this year's total of 8 tied for 2nd highest in his career).

If the speed isn't there, you look for power -- especially in a man with Mauer's physique.

And his power is declining. It isn't just the lack of home runs -- on average, he'll probably have about 10 a year. But his doubles are also down from 2010.

Offensively it looks like 2012 is most similar to 2008 for Mauer. The big difference is, of course, on defense.

Could Mauer have another offensive year like 2009 left in him? I suppose it is possible but he'll have to do it without the benefit of the Metrodome.

I'm on the fence about trading Mauer -- primarily because of the same concerns that other posters have that the Twins won't reinvest the savings.

But I also have a personal conviction that the Twins will never be a championship team with Mauer as a member. Not unless they invest in some other highly paid player who can change the character of the team and provide a different type of leadership.

P.S. I thought that an OPS of 1.000 really defined an "elite" batter. Mauer has topped that in only 2009. He has had some other very good seasons but they don't meet that "elite" definition. Interestingly Carew also had one year of an OPS over 1.000 (I was a little surprised to see that he had even that).

one_eyed_jack
10-17-2012, 08:53 AM
I think it's an open question if another team would be willing to TAKE Mauer.- He's owed $23M per season for each of the next 6 seasons. - Next year will be his age 30 season. - He no longer has a full time defensive position, although I suppose he could handle first base every day, and possibly could handle 3b or an OF position. In any case, he almost certainly will never catch full time again.- He has a rather extensive and chronic injury history.- He's had only one truly elite offensive season in his career, and that looks more and more like an outlier. He's managed a .500 SLG once in the last six seasons. The statheads will pooh-pooh the idea that RBI mean anything, but I doubt very many people inside professional baseball feel that way. I'm almost certain not many GMs feel that way.- There's an argument to be made that Mauer puts butts in seats at TF, but that argument looses steam if he's not in Minnesota.Ask yourself this...were Mauer on another team, would you be clamoring for TR to be sending Gibson and Sano to another team to acquire him?


1) If RBI and SLG are your metrics for an elite offensive season, do you believe that Rod Carew only had 1 elite offensive season in his career?
2) Yes, some people continue to look at RBI as a key indicator of a player's worth. There is also still a Flat Earth Society.

My metrics for a truly elite offensive season include BA, OBP, and SLG. Combining all three--not just two--makes a season truly elite. Makes a PLAYER elite, particularly if he can keep it up for more than a season or two. Good, or even really, good, isn't the same as elite.

Thinking RBI are a KEY indicator of a player's worth isn't what I said, but even that would make more sense than thinking RBI have NO VALUE WHATSOEVER. Getting on base, in and of itself, is not the goal. "Not making an out" is not the goal, either. Crossing home plate is the goal.

BTW, Carew did have only one truly elite season in his career. He also had a long career with several really good seasons, and a couple really, really good seasons, followed by a long and graceful decline into retirement where he was still respectable and piling up numbers. Hence, he's a HOFer.

It's also worth noting you ignored about 90% of the post, including the question at the end.

---In the Twins situation, it doesn't make sense to trade Sano and Gibson for anyone. Too many holes to fill to give up too much for any single player. You could add Verlander or Trout to the current Twins, and it's still not a very good baseball team. However, if the Twins were a really good team, and adding a player of Mauer's caliber would push them into the league's elite, then sure, I'd consider giving up top prospects for him.

ericchri
10-17-2012, 09:05 AM
Any reason Mauer shouldn't be the leadoff hitter? I see a lot of people suggest #2, but I'm not sure why that makes more sense than leadoff. His OBP warrants as many at-bats as possible, I would think. But instead we get the same old "your best-average hitter is your #3" that the Twins have been running out there for as long as I can remember. Yeah, he's not a base-stealer, but I'll take someone being on base as often as possible over someone who's on-base less often but occasionally steals a base.

I like the notion of the original post. If Boston says "I'd like to talk about Mauer" you have to listen. Honestly, I don't see much reason not to listen to anybody asking about anyone. "Interested in Sano, Buxton, and Gibson? Sure, what are you offering?" After you've heard them out you can always say no, but why not listen? I'd be really surprised to find out TR wouldn't even hear somebody out, even if I don't expect a whole lot of actual transactions. I won't speculate as to what's a fair offer, it's way outside my depth, but Mauer does seem like a good fit for Fenway.

Jim Crikket
10-17-2012, 10:19 AM
While Mauer could probably serve as an adequate leadoff hitter in a pinch, I think he'd be just as "out of position" there as he is at #3. To me, he's always been just about the perfect #2 and current management's aversion to just putting him there every night is one of my biggest frustrations with current field management. You have leadoff hitters who get on base with some frequency and have above average ability to steal 2B. In Mauer, you have a guy who (a) doesn't strike out much, (b) hits behind the runner well, (c) gets on base himself at a league-leading pace most years. That means your #3 hitter should come up with a runner on 3B and 1 out or runners on 1B and 2B with no outs an awful lot in the first inning of games. Instead, with lesser hitters at #2, your heart of the order is split from your leadoff man by a frequently wasted out.

Mauer gets a lot of bashing around here and I suppose when you've managed to time your career-best season just one year before potentially hitting free agency, resulting in a near-obscene contract, the bashing comes with that territory. But he's been mismanaged by field staff and, from all appearances, by medical/training staff, as well. I do think he was too slow to embrace the idea of playing a few more games at positions other than catcher, but even that was as much field management's fault as his own.

In the end, I would love to see Mauer spend his entire career with the Twins. But as others have stated, he is not going to single-handedly lead the Twins to championships. So either you commit to adding legitimate talent around him now, however you have to acquire that talent, while Mauer's still in his prime years and can legitimately help your team reach those lofty goals or you give serious consideration to seeing what other teams would offer for him. Keeping him around just to sell a few more jerseys and t-shirts in your gift shop is a waste of his time and the team's money.

I think Terry Ryan is smart enough to know that and that's one reason I'm really anxious to see what the GM does over the next couple of months.

SweetOne69
10-17-2012, 10:27 AM
Any reason Mauer shouldn't be the leadoff hitter? I see a lot of people suggest #2, but I'm not sure why that makes more sense than leadoff. His OBP warrants as many at-bats as possible, I would think. But instead we get the same old "your best-average hitter is your #3" that the Twins have been running out there for as long as I can remember. Yeah, he's not a base-stealer, but I'll take someone being on base as often as possible over someone who's on-base less often but occasionally steals a base.

I like the notion of the original post. If Boston says "I'd like to talk about Mauer" you have to listen. Honestly, I don't see much reason not to listen to anybody asking about anyone. "Interested in Sano, Buxton, and Gibson? Sure, what are you offering?" After you've heard them out you can always say no, but why not listen? I'd be really surprised to find out TR wouldn't even hear somebody out, even if I don't expect a whole lot of actual transactions. I won't speculate as to what's a fair offer, it's way outside my depth, but Mauer does seem like a good fit for Fenway.

If you only consider his ability to get on base and take a lot of pitches, then yes he would be a good leadoff hitter. But you usually want someone with good speed/base stealing ability to lead off, which Mauer is not. I suppose an argument for leading off could be based on they way the Yankees use Jeter. Jeter isn't a typical leadoff hitter either and his stats are very similar to Mauer's.

ericchri
10-17-2012, 10:48 AM
Jeter is exactly who I was thinking of when I posted that. I guess it comes down to a philosophical thing, but when comparing Mauer's ~.410 OBP to what the Twins have to offer as an alternate (~.350 for Span, ~.330 for Revere), I think the difference is severe enough to warrant pretty serious consideration. If we had someone who could post a .380+ OBP and steal 30+ bases, I'd probably agree they should use that guy as leadoff, but with the options they have right now (obviously could change), I'd vote for Mauer.

Jim Crikket
10-17-2012, 11:01 AM
For me, the difference is that I don't think Jeter is as well suited to be a #2 hitter as Mauer is, so you might as well let Jeter lead off even though he's not an ideal leadoff hitter either. Additionally, while it may not look like it at the moment, usually Jeter also has a more potent group of hitters coming up behind him than Mauer does, which makes the ability to steal bases less important for the Yankees leadoff hitter than it does for whoever leads off for the Twins.

ThePuck
10-17-2012, 12:23 PM
Mauer batted .372/.500/.514 with RISP (that's an OPS over 1.000). His BA, OBP and OPS with RISP was higher than Miguel Cabrera's. He also hit .397/.521/.569 w/RISP and 2 outs. For the season, in overall hitting, he was 4th in BA, 1st in OBP and 10th in OPS for the AL. Those numbers scream #3 batter...even without the HRs.

People say he's too passive with RISP...that he'd rather take the walk. They think Willingham did better in that situation. Well, with RISP, Willingham had 205 plate appearances. He hit .287/.424/.535 and had 8 HR and 73 RBI. I've posted Mauer's line with RISP earlier in this post. He had 13 less plate appearances with RISP and only 1 less RBI. Yes, Mauer walked 40 times with RISP, but WIllingham walked 34 times with RISP. Willingham also stuck out 46 times w/RISP while Mauer struck out 22 times with RISP. Who did better w/RISP? Mauer.

Dave T
10-17-2012, 04:51 PM
The Twins have lost 90 games for two straight seasons, and if you think it will be better next year, my answer is, it all starts with pitching. The Twins don't have any proven starters outside of Diamond, and he's not an ace. He's a solid #3-#5 pitcher. The Twins are in rebuilding mode.

As for Mauer, I have no beef with his contract or his performance. He earns his money. He's not exactly a good fit for a rebuilding team though. Furthermore, as has been pointed out by others, he'd probably hit .400 playing for Boston. If Boston were willing to overpay for him, I'd do it. But why would Boston do that? They're rebuilding too.

ThePuck
10-17-2012, 05:14 PM
'P.S. I thought that an OPS of 1.000 really defined an "elite" batter.'

No one in the Majors had an OPS of 1.000 or higher this year in the...not even Cabrera with his Triple Crown. Does that mean we had no elite hitters in the Majors this year?

In the last 4 seasons, only 7 players have done it (only two have done it more than once in those 4 seasons...Pujols and Cabrera). In those 4 seasons, the most in one season was 4 (2010). Do we really have that few elite hitters in baseball? Not only that, one needs to take into account position. Is the players elite when considering the position he plays?

johnnydakota
10-17-2012, 10:20 PM
if the twins trade joe , they need to look at texas, there in the win now mode, and they have a pair of kids at 3b and ss in olt and profar,who are blocked in the rangers org.and with hamilton coming off there payroll joe might look attractive,if we trade joe we need to trade justin to tornto for there AAA catcher dárnaud, yes we might have to throw in a few prospects like escobar hernandez or florimon but it would give us some solid players for the future... if ownership is not going to go for it in 2013 , they might as well build towards 2014 - 2015, so we might as well trade willingham to pittsburg for there prize pitching prospects cole and taillon, then span to the reds for hamilton (ss) and cingriani as long as we hold on to our top 5 prospects i am fine trading all the others except gibson....so either go after shields and another top of the rotation starter this year and 3 more quality relievers and maybe another quality middle infielder,or tear it down and look to the future

jm3319
10-17-2012, 10:35 PM
Mauer batted .372/.500/.514 with RISP (that's an OPS over 1.000). His BA, OBP and OPS with RISP was higher than Miguel Cabrera's. He also hit .397/.521/.569 w/RISP and 2 outs. For the season, in overall hitting, he was 4th in BA, 1st in OBP and 10th in OPS for the AL. Those numbers scream #3 batter...even without the HRs.

People say he's too passive with RISP...that he'd rather take the walk. They think Willingham did better in that situation. Well, with RISP, Willingham had 205 plate appearances. He hit .287/.424/.535 and had 8 HR and 73 RBI. I've posted Mauer's line with RISP earlier in this post. He had 13 less plate appearances with RISP and only 1 less RBI. Yes, Mauer walked 40 times with RISP, but WIllingham walked 34 times with RISP. Willingham also stuck out 46 times w/RISP while Mauer struck out 22 times with RISP. Who did better w/RISP? Mauer.


I could not agree more. People hate on Mauer for taking a walk instead of getting a hit which is a stupid criticism. The site below show's Joe at 28th overall in RBI% and Willingham at 86. Just providing more info to back you up.

http://www.baseballmusings.com/cgi-bin/RBIPCT.py?StartDate=04%2F04%2F2012&EndDate=10%2F03%2F2012&SortField=1.0*%28OnRBI.RBI-OnRBI.HRs%29%2FOnRBI.RunnersOn&SortDir=desc&MinPA=100

70charger
10-17-2012, 11:26 PM
Mauer batted .372/.500/.514 with RISP (that's an OPS over 1.000). His BA, OBP and OPS with RISP was higher than Miguel Cabrera's. He also hit .397/.521/.569 w/RISP and 2 outs. For the season, in overall hitting, he was 4th in BA, 1st in OBP and 10th in OPS for the AL. Those numbers scream #3 batter...even without the HRs.

People say he's too passive with RISP...that he'd rather take the walk. They think Willingham did better in that situation. Well, with RISP, Willingham had 205 plate appearances. He hit .287/.424/.535 and had 8 HR and 73 RBI. I've posted Mauer's line with RISP earlier in this post. He had 13 less plate appearances with RISP and only 1 less RBI. Yes, Mauer walked 40 times with RISP, but WIllingham walked 34 times with RISP. Willingham also stuck out 46 times w/RISP while Mauer struck out 22 times with RISP. Who did better w/RISP? Mauer.

I really hope people are paying attention to this kind of thing. The fact is that confirmation bias and negativity domination rule the narratives we tell ourselves about baseball players. This holds probably moreso for baseball players given that a very good hitter doesn't get a hit 7 out of 10 times. Mauer is a dominant player.

But back to the topic at hand. I think it's also correct to say that Mauer doesn't fit that well on a rebuilding team. If the Twins are going to blow it up and start over, they don't have a real use for Mauer. I don't think anyone who gets it really thinks that that is the best course of action (and yes, you know who you are), and so the best course of action is to build around Mauer with free agency, trades, etc. But you always listen to what's on offer.

ThePuck
10-18-2012, 10:29 AM
[QUOTE=ThePuck;58550]
I really hope people are paying attention to this kind of thing.

Thanks. I think if people looked at him honestly instead of looking at his income and THEN basing what he should be doing on that, they'd have a truer view of him. That contract didn't magically change the type of hitter he's been through most of his career into the 2009 version. He had a great year last year, he really did, and yet he's scapegoat to some. I will never understand that thinking.

mike wants wins
10-19-2012, 01:08 PM
If your owner and GM want an $85 million budget, Mauer's contract is an issue. Mauer is probably worth the money in a vacuum, but is he worth it if his contact leaves you only 60 million or so on the other players. If one pitcher and one other hitter make, say, 10 million each, that leaves you around 45 or so million for the rest of the roster. That makes your margin for error extremely tiny on those other 20 plus players.

ThePuck
10-19-2012, 01:23 PM
If your owner and GM want an $85 million budget, Mauer's contract is an issue. Mauer is probably worth the money in a vacuum, but is he worth it if his contact leaves you only 60 million or so on the other players. If one pitcher and one other hitter make, say, 10 million each, that leaves you around 45 or so million for the rest of the roster. That makes your margin for error extremely tiny on those other 20 plus players.

You need to be able to draft well, develop well, and be willing to part with the other players before they get too expensive. TB has built serious teams with around 60M and less over the last 5 years while playing in a much tougher division and taking in a lot less revenue

mike wants wins
10-19-2012, 02:00 PM
One team has been able to do it, and the Twins do not show a willingness to trade veterans until too late. Also, that team stunk for years, picked in the top five over and over to build up their system. They also run the team differently in terms of how they platoon and shift their defense. Nothing is similar other than budget. Like I said, it leaves a tiny margin for error.