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BCTwins
02-11-2013, 11:14 AM
Just read Jonah Keri's assessment of the 15 worst MLB contracts fully expecting to see Mauer's name on the list. It wasn't. There was, however, some discussion of one Mr. Correia, in connection with John Danks.

Jonah Keri on the worst contracts in MLB - Grantland (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8914127/jonah-keri-worst-contracts-mlb)

SpiritofVodkaDave
02-11-2013, 12:27 PM
Mauer's contract only gets bad if he suddenly can't stay healthy (def a question) or begins to see his game regress (not really an issue IMO)

The Greatest Poster Alive
02-11-2013, 12:29 PM
Mauer is not a bad contract yet. Had he posted another clunker of a season it'd be time to worry. But Mauer was not the problem for this team last year.

Twins Twerp
02-11-2013, 12:50 PM
Mauer's contract had to be done. We would all have complained if it wasn't done, even though most of us complain that it was. One thing that wasn't discussed when he was signed, that is being discussed about players now, is inflation. With the value of the dollar obviously going down with the constant printing of money...his deall will keep looking less and less troublesome. Especially with the new 20-25 million dollars each team will recieve yearly with the new television deal MLB is (or has already) signed. The next 30 million dollar man is in our near future and had Mauer stayed a free agent, he may have been paid much more and gotten close to that 30 mil a year mark.

ashburyjohn
02-11-2013, 12:58 PM
2yr/$10M for Correia is the loose change some teams find in the sofa cushions - it was about the smallest per-year contract of the ones in this article, and even at that it didn't make either the Top-15 *or* the [dis-]Honorable Mention. If one buys the truism that there's no such thing as a bad one-year contract, a corollary would be that putting yourself on the hook for a single $5M contract in year two can't be a soul-killing burden on the future of a team. And with no mention of Mauer at all, the inflammatory headline of "Re: Mauer's Contract" doesn't make sense at all.

Return on investment often follows an S-shaped curve. Because of the collective bargaining agreement, MLB's curve has the lower part of that S truncated - I would play for $1 and the team would get no benefit, while someone better might demand $50K, but neither of us is allowed to sign for those amounts. The upper part of an S-shaped curve reflects a decreasing return to scale - beyond a certain level of skill, to get a slightly better player means paying proportionately more and more. The Twins tend to stay far away from that part of the curve. In the rare cases like Mauer where they found it basically inevitable to pay at that level, I have a hard time faulting them for it, if that's the purpose of this headline.

gunnarthor
02-11-2013, 01:33 PM
I wonder how much money Mauer would have got if he left as a FA after 2010. That same offseason saw Werth and Crawford get their big 20m/per contracts. Mauer was younger than both, played the harder position, was the better player and the Tigers, Red Sox and Yankees all needed a catcher. 8/200 seems likely.

fairweather
02-11-2013, 01:40 PM
I disagree. The contract is terrible. It's possible that Doumit could drive in more runs while playing catcher for a 100 games than Mauer could in the same number of games. Doumit would be as good and maybe better throwing out runners and he costs pennies in comparison.

FrodaddyG
02-11-2013, 01:43 PM
I disagree. The contract is terrible. It's possible that Doumit could drive in more runs while playing catcher for a 100 games than Mauer could in the same number of games. Doumit would be as good and maybe better throwing out runners and he costs pennies in comparison.
1.) If RBI is your be-all, end-all stat, Mauer probably isn't for you.
2.) No.

ThePuck
02-11-2013, 01:54 PM
1.) If RBI is your be-all, end-all stat, Mauer probably isn't for you.
2.) No.

Exactly...

Mauer drove in 18.1 percent of the runners on base for his plate appearances. Not only did that rank eighth-highest in the entire league, it topped Willingham's mark of 16.3 percent. Mauer converted a higher percentage of his RBI chances than Willingham (even though Willingham had a career year), but Willingham had 45 more runners on base in 26 fewer plate appearances because Mauer was on constantly in front of him.

BCTwins
02-11-2013, 01:59 PM
And with no mention of Mauer at all, the inflammatory headline of "Re: Mauer's Contract" doesn't make sense at all.


Inflammatory headline? The headline contains no pathos at all--how can it inflame? And might the headline be regarding the overall point about Mauer from my post, not about Keri's article?

But thanks anyway for slamming the headline.

SpiritofVodkaDave
02-11-2013, 02:03 PM
I disagree. The contract is terrible. It's possible that Doumit could drive in more runs while playing catcher for a 100 games than Mauer could in the same number of games. Doumit would be as good and maybe better throwing out runners and he costs pennies in comparison.
This post is stupid. Please leave.

FrodaddyG
02-11-2013, 02:03 PM
This post is stupid. Please leave.
Tell us how you feel, Dave.

sorney
02-11-2013, 02:19 PM
Just read Jonah Keri's assessment of the 15 worst MLB contracts fully expecting to see Mauer's name on the list. It wasn't. There was, however, some discussion of one Mr. Correia, in connection with John Danks.

Jonah Keri on the worst contracts in MLB - Grantland (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8914127/jonah-keri-worst-contracts-mlb)

Agreed. The was my initial thought....but then when I sat back and looked at it, it isn't nearly as bad as some of the contracts listed there. Mauer still produces at a high level at a premium position. Most of the contracts listed there were positions where you need to be an elite hitter for the length of the contract to make it not an albatross.

edavis0308
02-11-2013, 04:09 PM
This post is stupid. Please leave.


Principal (http://twinsdaily.com/name/nm0235999/): Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
Billy Madison (http://twinsdaily.com/name/nm0001191/): Okay, a simple "wrong" would've done just fine.

SpiritofVodkaDave
02-11-2013, 04:20 PM
Tell us how you feel, Dave.

Oh I am all for idiotic statements, but at least put some flare (or in the case of dankind) mullets and Megadeath t-shirts behind them.

spideyo
02-11-2013, 05:16 PM
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The value of signing Mauer long-term is far greater to the Twins, and baseball in general, than just his on-field performance.

He will likely go down as one of the best offensive catchers in the history of baseball, and he did it cleanly, with not even a whiff of a rumor of any PED use or anything like that. He is a clean-cut, quiet individual who does NOT make headlines for stupid off-field stuff. He was a number one draft pick, signed by the team he grew up rooting for, and will likely never wear another team's uniform. He's made millions and is internationally known, but his mom still answers his fan mail and he married a girl he knew from high school.

You couldn't invent a character that better represents the brand the Twins have tried to cultivate over the years, and he is the epitome of Baseball as "The American Past-time" and he's exactly the kind of role model that Major League Baseball wants to have to encourage youths (and to a great extent, their parents) to pursue baseball instead of other major sports.

70charger
02-11-2013, 05:29 PM
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The value of signing Mauer long-term is far greater to the Twins, and baseball in general, than just his on-field performance.

He will likely go down as one of the best offensive catchers in the history of baseball, and he did it cleanly, with not even a whiff of a rumor of any PED use or anything like that. He is a clean-cut, quiet individual who does NOT make headlines for stupid off-field stuff. He was a number one draft pick, signed by the team he grew up rooting for, and will likely never wear another team's uniform. He's made millions and is internationally known, but his mom still answers his fan mail and he married a girl he knew from high school.

You couldn't invent a character that better represents the brand the Twins have tried to cultivate over the years, and he is the epitome of Baseball as "The American Past-time" and he's exactly the kind of role model that Major League Baseball wants to have to encourage youths (and to a great extent, their parents) to pursue baseball instead of other major sports.

Despite being very different players, he's sort of like the next Killebrew. There's really nothing bad you can say about him as a person. He's a genuinely good guy, and that's valuable to baseball in general, and to the Twins in particular.

But beyond that, I completely disagree that his contract is bad. All major free agent deals overpay to an extent when you're comparing WAR/$ to a league average that includes cost-controlled guys in their first few years and arbitration years. But if they were really overpriced, I doubt they'd actually get such enormous amounts of money consistently.

Now, there are people who have gotten enormous contracts that put them in Mauer territory that I don't think are deserving. The most recent one that springs to mind is Zach Greinke, but I would guess that Pujols and especially Prince Fielder are going to look pretty silly when they're still getting more than Mauer when they're 40 years old and/or 800 pounds. But let's not forget how ridiculously good at baseball Joe Mauer is. If we're reducing it RBI, we're cutting out the most important parts of Mauer's game (OBP is the most prominent example), which incidentally are those parts of the game that correlate far more positively to runs and wins produced than does RBI.

It still blows my mind that we are watching a future hall of famer (barring constant injury or sudden, inexplicable ineffectiveness), and all some of us can think to do is bitch about his paycheck. I for one am glad to sit back and watch him swing.

josecordoba
02-11-2013, 05:36 PM
Guys like Keri, Keith Law, or Dave Cameron will always point to the tremendous risk with long-term contracts at high dollar amounts even for the best of players.

In Mauer's case though when the contract was signed he had 1. MVP 2. Three Batting Titles 3. 3 All-Star Games. This says nothing about him being a local product. Basically if you don't resign Joe Mauer a Hall of Fame Type Talent considering these factors there is no point in having Professional Baseball in Minnesota. The Twins will rarely come across assests with Mauer's value. Even if Sano or Buxton are perennial MVP Candidates they won't be able to match Mauer's Drawing Power.

ashburyjohn
02-11-2013, 06:00 PM
But thanks anyway for slamming the headline.

Happy to be of service.

Take out the word if you don't like it. This still leaves the observation, And with no mention of Mauer at all [in the cited article], the headline of "Re: Mauer's Contract" doesn't make sense at all. You could as well have titled the posting "Re: Butera's contract".

ashburyjohn
02-11-2013, 06:03 PM
Mauer drove in 18.1 percent of the runners on base for his plate appearances. Not only did that rank eighth-highest in the entire league, it topped Willingham's mark of 16.3 percent. Mauer converted a higher percentage of his RBI chances than Willingham (even though Willingham had a career year), but Willingham had 45 more runners on base in 26 fewer plate appearances because Mauer was on constantly in front of him.

Could it be that a double by Mauer scores someone like Revere from first ahead of him, while a double by Willingham leaves Mauer on third waiting to be driven in? This is a reason I don't trust RISP statistics very much.

ashburyjohn
02-11-2013, 06:25 PM
but I would guess that Pujols and especially Prince Fielder are going to look pretty silly when they're still getting more than Mauer when they're 40 years old and/or 800 pounds.

People will think you are exaggerating, but if anything you are underestimating. Pujols will actually be nearly 42 when his contract ends.

70charger
02-11-2013, 07:23 PM
People will think you are exaggerating, but if anything you are underestimating. Pujols will actually be nearly 42 when his contract ends.

I agree. By comparison, the Twins are pretty well protected against age and gross obesity when it comes to Joe Mauer. I think that Pujols is easily one of the best baseball players not only of our generation but of all time - an inner circle hall of famer when he's done. But that doesn't mean that he won't be today's A-Rod when he's at the end of his contract. Sucking up dollars, producing little on the field.

ThePuck
02-11-2013, 07:58 PM
Could it be that a double by Mauer scores someone like Revere from first ahead of him, while a double by Willingham leaves Mauer on third waiting to be driven in? This is a reason I don't trust RISP statistics very much.

Um, seriously? First, the first sentence was just about runner on base...not in scoring position. And I'm sorry...if you don't trust RISP stats, there's really nowhere to go from there. Might as well just say I don't trust any stats that doesn't back up my view. You are, absolutely, the first one I've ever seen to blow off RISP numbers...so you have that going for you...

ashburyjohn
02-12-2013, 10:20 AM
You are, absolutely, the first one I've ever seen to blow off RISP numbers

You need to get out more.

Brock Beauchamp
02-12-2013, 11:41 AM
You are, absolutely, the first one I've ever seen to blow off RISP numbers

Holy balls, really? The vast majority of the sabr community discounts them entirely.

Brock Beauchamp
02-12-2013, 11:43 AM
This post is stupid. Please leave.

Dave, come on. I know you're frustrated with the negativity around here but that is a direct violation of the forum rules and it brings nothing to the conversation (and usually, only helps fan the flames). I just shook my head when I read that post but there's no reason to tell the guy to leave.

It's that kind of posting that sent BYTO's traffic numbers from "extremely strong community" in 2008 to "circling the drain" in 2012. You often state how much you miss BYTO but the general attitude of that site is unsustainable over the long-term and posts like that were a large reason for its slow demise. If you tell enough people to leave because you think they're stupid, guess what happens?

They leave and you're left arguing with yourself.

ThePuck
02-12-2013, 11:44 AM
Holy balls, really? The vast majority of the sabr community discounts them entirely.

I thought they've blown off RBI numbers...not numbers with RISP. Two different things there. I haven't ever heard of SABR people blowing off what a player does with RISP, and why would they? That would make no sense.

ThePuck
02-12-2013, 11:45 AM
You need to get out more.

If you say so

Brock Beauchamp
02-12-2013, 11:49 AM
I thought they've blown off RBI numbers...not numbers with RISP. Two different things there. I haven't ever heard of SABR people blowing off what a player does with RISP, and why would they?

Because it's been proven time and time again that a player hits the same with RISP that he does with the bases empty. Any fluctuation above or below that career norm is a temporary blip in an otherwise consistent arc. Give a guy enough ABs with RISP and he'll end up in the same place as his non-RISP numbers.

There are a few outliers to that "rule". I think Molitor was one. Maybe Gwynn was another. There were 3-4 guys over the course of 30+ years that didn't revert to career averages with RISP. Such a small fraction of players that it's essentially a given that a player will be the same with or without men on base.

snepp
02-12-2013, 11:50 AM
and why would they?

Because it's been shown that players will, over time, perform basically the same w/RISP as they do as a whole. Dramatically cutting the sample size, for little (or no) benefit, doesn't serve much purpose.

ThePuck
02-12-2013, 11:53 AM
Because it's been proven time and time again that a player hits the same with RISP that he does with the bases empty. Any fluctuation above or below that career norm is a temporary blip in an otherwise consistent arc. Give a guy enough ABs with RISP and he'll end up in the same place as his non-RISP numbers.

There are a few outliers to that "rule". I think Molitor was one. Maybe Gwynn was another. There were 3-4 guys over the course of 30+ years that didn't revert to career averages with RISP. Such a small fraction of players that it's essentially a given that a player will be the same with or without men on base.

So why do the writers at Fangraphs, who are SABR people, write the info I posted that started this conversation?

'Mauer drove in 18.1 percent of the runners on base for his plate appearances. Not only did that rank eighth-highest in the entire league, it topped Willingham's mark of 16.3 percent. Mauer converted a higher percentage of his RBI chances than Willingham (even though Willingham had a career year), but Willingham had 45 more runners on base in 26 fewer plate appearances because Mauer was on constantly in front of him.'

Brock Beauchamp
02-12-2013, 11:59 AM
So why do the writers at Fangraphs, who are SABR people, write the info I posted that started this conversation?

'Mauer drove in 18.1 percent of the runners on base for his plate appearances. Not only did that rank eighth-highest in the entire league, it topped Willingham's mark of 16.3 percent. Mauer converted a higher percentage of his RBI chances than Willingham (even though Willingham had a career year), but Willingham had 45 more runners on base in 26 fewer plate appearances because Mauer was on constantly in front of him.'

When I've seen Mauer's RISP numbers quoted, it's usually a retaliatory statement in response to "herp derp Mauer doesn't drive in enough runners to make $20m herp derp". It's refuting a misconception, not attempting to put weight into RISP numbers.

That's my experience, anyway. YMMV.

Willihammer
02-12-2013, 12:01 PM
Could it be that a double by Mauer scores someone like Revere from first ahead of him, while a double by Willingham leaves Mauer on third waiting to be driven in? This is a reason I don't trust RISP statistics very much.

Parker wrote a piece that suggested Mauer did benefit from batting behind speedy baserunners, specifically, on ground balls that he pulled.

Twins Daily - Joe Mauer pulled through in 2012 (http://twinsdaily.com/1173-joe-mauer-pulled-through-2012.html)

snepp
02-12-2013, 12:03 PM
When I've seen Mauer's RISP numbers quoted, it's usually a retaliatory statement in response to "herp derp Mauer doesn't drive in enough runners to make $20m herp derp". It's refuting a misconception, not attempting to put weight into RISP numbers.

That's exactly how I see it.

ThePuck
02-12-2013, 12:04 PM
When I've seen Mauer's RISP numbers quoted, it's usually a retaliatory statement in response to "herp derp Mauer doesn't drive in enough runners to make $20m herp derp". It's refuting a misconception, not attempting to put weight into RISP numbers.

That's my experience, anyway. YMMV.

Correction to what I wrote. That quote came from Gleeman, not Fangraphs, so apologies on that. Wasn't purposely trying to deceive right there, just thought I had gotten it from Fangraphs...

Mauer's career numbers with RISP are quite a bit better than his normal numbers though. 20 points in BA, 55 points in OBP, 30 points in slg%

Brock Beauchamp
02-12-2013, 12:04 PM
Parker wrote a piece that suggested Mauer did benefit from batting behind speedy baserunners, specifically, on ground balls that he pulled.

Twins Daily - Joe Mauer pulled through in 2012 (http://twinsdaily.com/1173-joe-mauer-pulled-through-2012.html)

I think it's pretty obvious that high contact, high average, low power guys will benefit the most from hitting behind speedy baserunners.

Brock Beauchamp
02-12-2013, 12:05 PM
Correction to what I wrote. That quote came from Gleeman, not Fangraphs, so apologies on that. Wasn't purposely trying to deceive right there, just thought I had gotten it from Fangraphs...

No worries. Gleeman isn't exactly a traditional baseball RBI guy. The point is the same.

Willihammer
02-12-2013, 12:08 PM
I think it's pretty obvious that high contact, high average, low power guys will benefit the most from hitting behind speedy baserunners.

Specifically a lefthanded one.

ThePuck
02-12-2013, 12:09 PM
In any event, I learned something today, which is awesome. I'm going to research that a bit more.

My sincerest apologies to ashburyjohn.

Brock Beauchamp
02-12-2013, 12:12 PM
Mauer's career numbers with RISP are quite a bit better than his normal numbers though. 20 points in BA, 55 points in OBP, 30 points in slg%

He could be one of those outlier players. While I haven't seen enough evidence to prove the idea, I don't think it's a coincidence that the players with extraordinary bat control (Gwynn, Molitor) were the "outliers" in that RISP study. It makes sense that the guys who can choose where the ball is hit do better with RISP than the "swing away" type of players.

But those guys are an extremely rare breed. Is Mauer on the level of a Molitor and Gwynn? Right now, yes. Whether that stays true as he ages is another matter entirely.

Brock Beauchamp
02-12-2013, 12:15 PM
Specifically a lefthanded one.

Specifically a lefthanded one that goes opposite field so often and can seemingly pull the ball at will. I shake my head when people bash Mauer. It's like they're not watching the same game (perhaps they're not). The guy is incredibly intelligent and has bat control above and beyond all but a few of the all-time greats. When he goes out there, he is often doing exactly what he wants to do (or, given baseball's failure rate, he does what he wants at a much higher rate than other players).

ThePuck
02-12-2013, 12:16 PM
He could be one of those outlier players. While I haven't seen enough evidence to prove the idea, I don't think it's a coincidence that the players with extraordinary bat control (Gwynn, Molitor) were the "outliers" in that RISP study. It makes sense that the guys who can choose where the ball is hit do better with RISP than the "swing away" type of players.

But those guys are an extremely rare breed. Is Mauer on the level of a Molitor and Gwynn? Right now, yes. Whether that stays true as he ages is another matter entirely.

This topic interests me. Baseball Prospectus talked about the numbers wiwth RISP stat. In the article it states: 'a single year’s worth of data for a player with runners in scoring position is an incredibly small sample riddled with random variation—so much so that it essentially renders the data useless.'

The way that reads, that would lead me to believe that for a career, it's a much better stat to look at. As are most stats. Would you concur?

snepp
02-12-2013, 12:22 PM
Mauer's career numbers with RISP are quite a bit better than his normal numbers though. 20 points in BA, 55 points in OBP, 30 points in slg%

A couple of things to keep in mind.

The league as a whole "hits" better w/RISP. Sacrifice flies don't hurt a player's batting average (or OBP/SLG), a typical flyball with the bases empty that would drop a hitter's average no longer does if a player happens to be on 3rd at the time and scores.

Another, intentional walks almost always occur with someone already in scoring position. In Mauer's case, every IBB in his career has come w/RISP, this inflates the w/RISP OBP relative to his overall line. So he didn't really "hit" better in those situations.

The Wise One
02-12-2013, 12:31 PM
A couple of things to keep in mind.

The league as a whole "hits" better w/RISP. Sacrifice flies don't hurt a player's batting average (or OBP/SLG), a typical flyball with the bases empty that would drop a hitter's average no longer does if a player happens to be on 3rd at the time and scores.

Another, intentional walks almost always occur with someone already in scoring position. In Mauer's case, every IBB in his career has come w/RISP, this inflates the w/RISP OBP relative to his overall line. So he didn't really "hit" better in those situations.

then you would want babip with risp to determine who is the clutch hitter. Although getting a long enough fly ball to score a runner shouldn't be counted against the batter, less you forget the "useless" stat of RBI, as the object of the game is to score runs

ThePuck
02-12-2013, 12:39 PM
A couple of things to keep in mind.

The league as a whole "hits" better w/RISP. Sacrifice flies don't hurt a player's batting average (or OBP/SLG), a typical flyball with the bases empty that would drop a hitter's average no longer does if a player happens to be on 3rd at the time and scores.

Another, intentional walks almost always occur with someone already in scoring position. In Mauer's case, every IBB in his career has come w/RISP, this inflates the w/RISP OBP relative to his overall line. So he didn't really "hit" better in those situations.

The IBB would affect his OBP but not his slg% and BA...that's all based on actual at bats. Not only that, but to say they don't matter would be to assume he would have gotten an out in every instance when he was IBB....which would be a strange assumption based on the results he has when he isn't IBB.

'a typical flyball with the bases empty that would drop a hitter's average no longer does if a player happens to be on 3rd at the time and scores.'

Doesn't affect his BA/OBP/SLG% RISP numbers though...and there's an assumption there that if the guy had been on 2nd instead of 3rd, he wouldn't have gotten a hit instead of sacrificing himself.

BTW, all these scenarios, apply to everyone...

jimbo92107
02-12-2013, 12:43 PM
When you spend $23 million dollars of your payroll on one player, the natural substitution would be two $10 million dollar starting pitchers and a $3 million dollar starting catcher. If the Twins had traded Joe Mauer, they would have gotten any team's first round draft pick, of course, or a top rotation starter. Then you keep Wilson Ramos as your starting catcher, a guy that looks to me like a young Terry Steinbach, and you compete in the division for the next five years.

Would two solid starting pitchers plus a decent catcher be worth more to this team than Joe Mauer?

snepp
02-12-2013, 12:45 PM
The IBB would affect his OBP but not his slg% and BA...that's all based on actual at bats. Not only that, but to say they don't matter would be to assume he would have gotten an out in every instance when he was IBB....which would be a strange assumption based on the results he has when he isn't IBB.

At no point did I say IBB would effect his BA or SLG, nor at any point did I say that they don't matter.


You made a direct comparison of his w/RISP slash line in comparison to his overall line. I simply tried to point out that much of what can be viewed as "hitting better" w/RISP is due to context (and subsequent calculations), not necessarily the actual act of hitting itself.

ThePuck
02-12-2013, 12:47 PM
At no point did I say IBB would effect his BA or SLG, nor at any point did I say that they don't matter.


You made a direct comparison of his w/RISP slash line in comparison to his overall line. I simply tried to point out that much of what can be viewed as "hitting better" w/RISP is due to context (and subsequent calculations), not necessarily the actual act of hitting itself.

I added a part responding to your sac fly comment...

SpiritofVodkaDave
02-12-2013, 12:47 PM
When you spend $23 million dollars of your payroll on one player, the natural substitution would be two $10 million dollar starting pitchers and a $3 million dollar starting catcher. If the Twins had traded Joe Mauer, they would have gotten any team's first round draft pick, of course, or a top rotation starter. Then you keep Wilson Ramos as your starting catcher, a guy that looks to me like a young Terry Steinbach, and you compete in the division for the next five years.

Would two solid starting pitchers plus a decent catcher be worth more to this team than Joe Mauer?

It should be noted that Wilson Ramos injury history makes Mauer look like Cal Ripken.

amjgt
02-12-2013, 12:48 PM
While the thread has turned away from Mauer's contract, I think many people missed the point of the Grantland article.

It wasn't "these were the 15 worst contracts when they were signed."
It was "these are the 15 worst contracts as they sit today."

At the time Mauer signed the contract, I agree with most people in this thread that it was fair market value for an MVP, batting champ, catcher, hometown guy, who had shown signs of power potential.

BUT

The next couple years happened and, at least currently, he is a part time hometown catcher, who obviously has value, but not like when he signed the contract.

I was really surprised that he wasn't on Keri's list. His contract is eating up 30% of the team's current payroll, they needed to spend 3 mil per year on a realistic backup option since Mauer is best when he's catching about 2/3 of the games, and he's not performing at a $23 mil level.... and I think most people would be relatively surprised if he got back to 23mil level within the duration of his contract.

ThePuck
02-12-2013, 12:51 PM
While the thread has turned away from Mauer's contract, I think many people missed the point of the Grantland article.

It wasn't "these were the 15 worst contracts when they were signed."
It was "these are the 15 worst contracts as they sit today."

At the time Mauer signed the contract, I agree with most people in this thread that it was fair market value for an MVP, batting champ, catcher, hometown guy, who had shown signs of power potential.

BUT

The next couple years happened and, at least currently, he is a part time hometown catcher, who obviously has value, but not like when he signed the contract.

I was really surprised that he wasn't on Keri's list. His contract is eating up 30% of the team's current payroll, they needed to spend 3 mil per year on a realistic backup option since Mauer is best when he's catching about 2/3 of the games, and he's not performing at a $23 mil level.... and I think most people would be relatively surprised if he got back to 23mil level within the duration of his contract.

I'm not sure I'd agree that value of a contract lies solely with on-field production. There's other factors. However, according to Fangraphs, he was at 22.5M just in on field value last year. Obviously, in the injury year (2011) he wasn't, but last year he's right there.

I would have been shocked if he had been on that list.

SweetOne69
02-12-2013, 12:54 PM
I'm not sure I'd agree that value of a contract lies solely with on-field production. There's other factors. However, according to Fangraphs, he was at 22.5M just in on field value last year. Obviously, in the injury year (2011) he wasn't, but last year he's right there.

I would have been shocked if he had been on that list.

This! Injuries happen and can't be accounted for in the value of the contract. When Mauer has been healthy he certainly performs up to the level of his contract. The list of the 15 worst contracts are of people who even when healthy don't or won't live up to the value of the contract.

ashburyjohn
02-12-2013, 12:58 PM
In any event, I learned something today, which is awesome. I'm going to research that a bit more.

My sincerest apologies to ashburyjohn.

And in the spirit of kumbayah, my "get out more" shorthand was not the best way to encourage you to, well, look around more. :) So my apologies for that lapse, Brother.

Alex
02-12-2013, 01:03 PM
When you spend $23 million dollars of your payroll on one player, the natural substitution would be two $10 million dollar starting pitchers and a $3 million dollar starting catcher. If the Twins had traded Joe Mauer, they would have gotten any team's first round draft pick, of course, or a top rotation starter. Then you keep Wilson Ramos as your starting catcher, a guy that looks to me like a young Terry Steinbach, and you compete in the division for the next five years.

Would two solid starting pitchers plus a decent catcher be worth more to this team than Joe Mauer?

The flaw in this argument is that the Twins actually have the money to pay two hypothetical starters $10M this year AND had it last year but chose not to. They will also have that money over the next five years and more.

So, Mauer's contract hasn't kept them from your hypothetical at all. They could, in fact, have had their cake and eat it, too with Ramos, Mauer, and two $10M dollar pitchers. Mauer's salary isn't what's keeping them from being competitive.

Brock Beauchamp
02-12-2013, 01:09 PM
This topic interests me. Baseball Prospectus talked about the numbers wiwth RISP stat. In the article it states: 'a single year’s worth of data for a player with runners in scoring position is an incredibly small sample riddled with random variation—so much so that it essentially renders the data useless.'

The way that reads, that would lead me to believe that for a career, it's a much better stat to look at. As are most stats. Would you concur?

Definitely. I'd have a hard time judging a player's ability with RISP until he's well past his peak, preferably retired. At that point, he should have accumulated enough ABs with RISP to declare something meaningful about his ability. Before that, not so much. It takes many years to get even one season worth of ABs with RISP (say, 600 PAs) and players fluctuate considerably from season to season so even 600 PAs can be feeding you bad information. Right now, Mauer has about 1300 PAs with RISP. Enough to draw a conclusion? Probably not.

The Wise One
02-12-2013, 01:15 PM
While the thread has turned away from Mauer's contract, I think many people missed the point of the Grantland article.

It wasn't "these were the 15 worst contracts when they were signed."
It was "these are the 15 worst contracts as they sit today."

At the time Mauer signed the contract, I agree with most people in this thread that it was fair market value for an MVP, batting champ, catcher, hometown guy, who had shown signs of power potential.

BUT

The next couple years happened and, at least currently, he is a part time hometown catcher, who obviously has value, but not like when he signed the contract.

I was really surprised that he wasn't on Keri's list. His contract is eating up 30% of the team's current payroll, they needed to spend 3 mil per year on a realistic backup option since Mauer is best when he's catching about 2/3 of the games, and he's not performing at a $23 mil level.... and I think most people would be relatively surprised if he got back to 23mil level within the duration of his contract.

If Mauer was a free agent this winter what would have he commanded. Over the last six years he is 13 in War for the total WAR over that period. It was once posted that a top free agent should get abot 5 mill per war. Mauer averaged just a hair under 5. So whar is unreasonable about his contract?

ThePuck
02-12-2013, 01:18 PM
And in the spirit of kumbayah, my "get out more" shorthand was not the best way to encourage you to, well, look around more. :) So my apologies for that lapse, Brother.

My post was over the top snarky (which I try not to do). Your response was mild in comparison...I likely deserved worse. But thanks.

diehardtwinsfan
02-12-2013, 01:20 PM
Could it be that a double by Mauer scores someone like Revere from first ahead of him, while a double by Willingham leaves Mauer on third waiting to be driven in? This is a reason I don't trust RISP statistics very much.

It has far more to do with the fact that Mauer has had far less opportunities to drive people in. RBI is cumulative, and the guy hitting fourth in the order will typically have more opportunities to drive in runs than the guy hitting 3rd... especially when the manager consistently puts a 2nd basemen in the 2 spot... no matter how good his OBP is.

ThePuck
02-12-2013, 01:23 PM
If Mauer was a free agent this winter what would have he commanded. Over the last six years he is 13 in War for the total WAR over that period. It was once posted that a top free agent should get abot 5 mill per war. Mauer averaged just a hair under 5. So whar is unreasonable about his contract?

This. Additionally Fangraphs gives Mauer a value of 165.9M so far for his career. He's gotten paid less than half that so far. Where's the outrage?! :-)

LoganJones
02-12-2013, 01:48 PM
Seriously, go look at the best hitters in Twins history, and compare them to Mauer through age 29. He has a higher OPS+ than every Twins great apart from Tony O and Harmon. He's on a track to be one of the greatest Twins of all time. It's just bizzaro land where these thoughts of Mauer not being 'worth' his top contract.

Riverbrian
02-12-2013, 01:57 PM
Mauers contract has always been a happy thought for me. When the Twins offered that contract... And Joe signed it... It told me that the Twins will try to retain our superstars or fan favorites.

I didn't have that feeling about the organization prior to that contract being signed.

When I think about Mauers contract... I don't think about if he's playing up to it... I don't worry about OPS... RISP or anything of the sort.

I think... Here's an example of the Twins no longer spending like a small market team. That thought sustains me thru periods of payroll dropping like it has the past few years.

Because of Mauers contract... I believe the Twins can and will add to the payroll when the time is right to do so.

FrodaddyG
02-12-2013, 01:59 PM
I think... Here's an example of the Twins no longer spending like a small market team.
Yes, the lone example.

Riverbrian
02-12-2013, 02:01 PM
Yes, the lone example.

That is true.

Oxtung
02-12-2013, 02:18 PM
Yes, the lone example.

Morneau. At the time he signed he was the 3rd highest paid first baseman ever.

FrodaddyG
02-12-2013, 02:25 PM
Morneau. At the time he signed he was the 3rd highest paid first baseman ever.
$13M a year is not a make-or-break, big market deal. Carlos Delgado was making more than that annually in the early 2000's. Plus, they had just let Hunter and Santana go, which doesn't scream of "adding payroll".

Oxtung
02-12-2013, 02:50 PM
$13M a year is not a make-or-break, big market deal. Carlos Delgado was making more than that annually in the early 2000's. Plus, they had just let Hunter and Santana go, which doesn't scream of "adding payroll".

It was a big market deal at the time. It was the 3rd highest salary ever for a first baseman. Delgado was not actually making more than Morneau annually. Todd Helton and Lance Berkman were the two that made more.

Riverbrian's point was that the Twins were willing to spend to retain their superstars and fan favorites. They did that with Morneau as well as Mauer. If you're looking to counter his point you should be pointing out Cuddyer or Nathan not arguing about Morneau.

Boom Boom
02-12-2013, 02:53 PM
The problem with spending money to retain their own superstars is that superstars need to come up through the system. There haven't been a whole lot of those recently.

Also, it's not wrong to spend money to bring in somebody else's superstars.

CDog
02-12-2013, 02:58 PM
Mauers contract has always been a happy thought for me. When the Twins offered that contract... And Joe signed it... It told me that the Twins will try to retain our superstars or fan favorites.

I didn't have that feeling about the organization prior to that contract being signed.

Viola signed a contract that people were in an uproar about for its enormity. Puckett was made the highest paid player ever (it lasted like seven seconds, but still). Morneau got a big ol' contract. The Twins have a fairly good history of making sure their tippy-top players stick around even at high cost. It's something I really like. The alternative is to get a little too close to the reality of the Seinfeld bit that we're just cheering for laundry.

CDog
02-12-2013, 03:09 PM
If Mauer was a free agent this winter what would have he commanded?

This exact question crossed my mind as I was reading the Keri article when it was originally posted on Grantalnd, and again when I saw the original post in this thread. Just for comparison's sake, let's make it a six-year contract. (Although, now that I think of it, the length of a theoretical contract at this point would be an interesting discussion, too.) Is 6/120 in the ballpark? Maybe more? Hamilton just got 5/125. Fielder has 8/190 left or something like that. Torii Hunter got 2/26 at the age of 37. Just as a couple of "for instances" that jump to mind.

Look at the other contracts on that list of Keri's compared to the players' ages and performance. It's not even close. It would have been a shock if Mauer HAD been on there.

FrodaddyG
02-12-2013, 03:10 PM
It was a big market deal at the time. It was the 3rd highest salary ever for a first baseman. Delgado was not actually making more than Morneau annually. Todd Helton and Lance Berkman were the two that made more.

Riverbrian's point was that the Twins were willing to spend to retain their superstars and fan favorites. They did that with Morneau as well as Mauer. If you're looking to counter his point you should be pointing out Cuddyer or Nathan not arguing about Morneau.
So they re-signed Morneau to a $13M-a-year deal in the same offseason they opted to not pay top dollar to retain Santana and Hunter. But hey, those guys weren't "fan favorites" or anything. That's locking up one cheaper asset while letting two go due to money. That's not "big market" thinking, that's a prototypical example of mid-market thinking.

Riverbrian
02-12-2013, 03:31 PM
Viola signed a contract that people were in an uproar about for its enormity. Puckett was made the highest paid player ever (it lasted like seven seconds, but still). Morneau got a big ol' contract. The Twins have a fairly good history of making sure their tippy-top players stick around even at high cost. It's something I really like. The alternative is to get a little too close to the reality of the Seinfeld bit that we're just cheering for laundry.

Viola... I can't remember what he signed for... What I do remember about Viola was his agent sending a pay me or trade me letter and and it pissed off Herbie and Gaetti and he was traded to the Mets soon after.

Puckett was a good feeling signing no doubt about it but if I remember right. There was a consensus amongst Twins and National press that he took a hometown discount.

Anyway... I was just talking about my personal perception of Mauer's contract (right or wrong) and why I don't have a problem with it. I continue to use Mauer's contract as a reason to feel that Sano will be locked up with competitive deal after he hits 60 dingers.

SweetOne69
02-12-2013, 03:37 PM
So they re-signed Morneau to a $13M-a-year deal in the same offseason they opted to not pay top dollar to retain Santana and Hunter. But hey, those guys weren't "fan favorites" or anything. That's locking up one cheaper asset while letting two go due to money. That's not "big market" thinking, that's a prototypical example of mid-market thinking.

They offered Santana and Hunter top dollar contracts. The issue was the Twins wouldn't commit to the # of years that they wanted. We offered Hunter 3 years @ $50+. Every other team was offering 4. Hunter wanted 5, but no body was offering that. We was about to agree with the White Sox when the Angels came out of no where and offered him 5 years.

IIRC we offered Santana 4yr/$85M, he wanted more years and the Twins rightfully refused.

Oxtung
02-12-2013, 03:37 PM
So they re-signed Morneau to a $13M-a-year deal in the same offseason they opted to not pay top dollar to retain Santana and Hunter. But hey, those guys weren't "fan favorites" or anything. That's locking up one cheaper asset while letting two go due to money. That's not "big market" thinking, that's a prototypical example of mid-market thinking.

Well since they were a mid-market team in 2008.... (while slightly off topic I still think they're only a mid-market team)

All that said I have no illusions that the Twins are willing to shell out big for many players. I certainly don't think they're ever going to pay big to acquire a FA. I have merely been pointing out that they did spend on Morneau as well as Mauer to directly refute your one liner:

Yes, the lone example.

Han Joelo
02-12-2013, 05:03 PM
So they re-signed Morneau to a $13M-a-year deal in the same offseason they opted to not pay top dollar to retain Santana and Hunter. But hey, those guys weren't "fan favorites" or anything. That's locking up one cheaper asset while letting two go due to money. That's not "big market" thinking, that's a prototypical example of mid-market thinking.
Santana' contract is on that list, btw. Just saying.

FrodaddyG
02-12-2013, 05:12 PM
Santana' contract is on that list, btw. Just saying.
Yes, they don't work out most of the time, but you have to pay top dollar to get superstars, and Santana was the best pitcher in the league at the time. Injuries happen, and Santana had an exceptionally unfortunate rash of them since he moved.

If you let every player go when they need to get paid, you will be able to look at the vast majority of them at some point and say "boy, I'm glad we didn't pay him". Doesn't mean that you shouldn't ante up and overpay at some point if you want to try and have premium talent long-term and not just a revolving door of arbitration guys with one foot out the door when free agency is within sight.

spideyo
02-12-2013, 05:18 PM
I think the big contracts of Mauer, Morneau, and Pucket show that they are willing to spend big bucks on the right guys, but that it's more than just performance on the field. I think they do take into account attitudes and PR situations (they'll leave the bad press to the vikings and wolves), and the player's commitment to the Twins. They want to reward guys who want to be Twins. They aren't going to offer big money and years to a guy they think might start complaining loudly about the team in a few years, or start clamoring for a trade if the team is having a bad year. It would have been REALLY easy for Mauer or Morneau to start causing a fuss about the bad teams the last two years and instruct their agent to push to get them moved to a contender. But they didn't. I really think that's part of the reason the Twins gave them the big contracts. They want guys that will be loyal to the team through thick and thin.

LoganJones
02-12-2013, 05:19 PM
Santana' contract is on that list, btw. Just saying.
And you'll find that offering long term high dollar contracts to pitchers is going to wok out a lot less often than it pays off. Fast forward to 2015 and you'll see a similar list with names like Anibel Sanchez, Zach Grienke, Edwin Jackson, CC Sabathia and Felix Hernandez on it.

FrodaddyG
02-12-2013, 05:57 PM
I think the big contracts of Mauer, Morneau, and Pucket show that they are willing to spend big bucks on the right guys, but that it's more than just performance on the field. I think they do take into account attitudes and PR situations (they'll leave the bad press to the vikings and wolves), and the player's commitment to the Twins. They want to reward guys who want to be Twins. They aren't going to offer big money and years to a guy they think might start complaining loudly about the team in a few years, or start clamoring for a trade if the team is having a bad year. It would have been REALLY easy for Mauer or Morneau to start causing a fuss about the bad teams the last two years and instruct their agent to push to get them moved to a contender. But they didn't. I really think that's part of the reason the Twins gave them the big contracts. They want guys that will be loyal to the team through thick and thin.
So, the team preference is unquestioning drones. Sounds like a fun locker room to hang out in.

Han Joelo
02-12-2013, 06:50 PM
So, the team preference is unquestioning drones. Sounds like a fun locker room to hang out in.

As hard as it is to relate to people my age who are getting paid millions of dollars to play a game, I always try. In my workplace, they wouldn't be called unquestioning drones, but rather loyal soldiers who are on board with the company's way of doing things. As a non Minnesotan, I follow the Twins because I admire their business model; I am not a blind loyalist, I just like them. I think sticking together through the tough times is the very definition of a healthy organization.

Reading perhaps to deeply, I get the feeling you'd rather have a fiery semi-malcontent outfielder and a finely goteed left-hander on the team then a couple of pasty faced company lackeys from up north.

CDog
02-12-2013, 08:24 PM
Viola... I can't remember what he signed for... What I do remember about Viola was his agent sending a pay me or trade me letter and and it pissed off Herbie and Gaetti and he was traded to the Mets soon after.

I was just talking about my personal perception of Mauer's contract (right or wrong) and why I don't have a problem with it. I continue to use Mauer's contract as a reason to feel that Sano will be locked up with competitive deal after he hits 60 dingers.

Working from memory, Viola got $1.3 Million. I still recall one of the affiliates out of Duluth reported the deal and had a lower-third graphic that read: "Frank Viola - Very Rich Man." And yes, I recall also that there was some contention about the deal and that didn't go over real big.

As for the other part quoted, I was happy when he signed the deal, I'm fine with it now, and I hope (and even expect) that some of Sano/Buxton/Arcia/etc will be getting large and long extensions before they hit free agency, too.

Riverbrian
02-12-2013, 09:42 PM
Working from memory, Viola got $1.3 Million. I still recall one of the affiliates out of Duluth reported the deal and had a lower-third graphic that read: "Frank Viola - Very Rich Man." And yes, I recall also that there was some contention about the deal and that didn't go over real big.

As for the other part quoted, I was happy when he signed the deal, I'm fine with it now, and I hope (and even expect) that some of Sano/Buxton/Arcia/etc will be getting large and long extensions before they hit free agency, too.

We got a chance now to retain our players.

My original perception of the Twins was formed by Calvin Griffith. lol... if I could get thru Griffith in the days of Free Agency... I can get thru this little bump in the road that was 2011 and 2012... Rod Carew in an Angels uniform!!! That was a heartbreaker.

Joe Mauer help push the payroll to 112 million in 2011. There were quite a few other Twins making decent money that year as well.

After Mauer was signed the Twins continued to add salary. It pushed the payroll over 100 million and it helped push the memory of Griffith out the door and Griffith was a large figure to push.

Mauer was the official turning of the page in my book and i think anything is possible now... So I have a hard time thinking "cheap ass organization" since.

twinsnorth49
02-13-2013, 09:47 AM
So, the team preference is unquestioning drones. Sounds like a fun locker room to hang out in.

What's your point here? You seem to have an interesting take on MLB locker room dynamics, I'd love to hear more stories about them.

FrodaddyG
02-13-2013, 09:53 AM
What's your point here? You seem to have an interesting take on MLB locker room dynamics, I'd love to hear more stories about them.
If, as the poster posits, the main reason for the signing of contracts is "these guys won't make a fuss", the priorities for the team are insanely backwards.

edavis0308
02-13-2013, 10:51 AM
As hard as it is to relate to people my age who are getting paid millions of dollars to play a game, I always try. In my workplace, they wouldn't be called unquestioning drones, but rather loyal soldiers who are on board with the company's way of doing things. As a non Minnesotan, I follow the Twins because I admire their business model; I am not a blind loyalist, I just like them. I think sticking together through the tough times is the very definition of a healthy organization.

Reading perhaps to deeply, I get the feeling you'd rather have a fiery semi-malcontent outfielder and a finely goteed left-hander on the team then a couple of pasty faced company lackeys from up north.

I don't really get what point you are trying to make. So you would rather have an entire team composed of border major league talent nice guys that would struggle to eek out 70 wins in a season instead of rolling the dice on a guy every once in a while that is fiery or runs his mouth a bit to the media? Last time I checked, we made the playoffs when we had Hunter, Hudson, and Cabrera on this team. Well your wish is granted, we've got the likes of Scott Elarton waiting in the wings at AAA when we need him!

old nurse
02-13-2013, 11:42 AM
If, as the poster posits, the main reason for the signing of contracts is "these guys won't make a fuss", the priorities for the team are insanely backwards.

It is highly unlikely that the primary reason the team resigned these guys was tha they wouldn't make a fuss. How about that they were in their prime years and top players?

FrodaddyG
02-13-2013, 11:45 AM
It is highly unlikely that the primary reason the team resigned these guys was tha they wouldn't make a fuss. How about that they were in their prime years and top players?
Probably, but THAT'S NOT WHAT THE POSTER WAS SAYING.

edavis0308
02-13-2013, 12:12 PM
Probably, but THAT'S NOT WHAT THE POSTER WAS SAYING.

Maybe you should think outside the box and try to read people's mind and think what they mean is actually opposite of what they are saying.

spideyo
02-13-2013, 03:50 PM
Probably, but THAT'S NOT WHAT THE POSTER WAS SAYING.


Actually, what I meant was not that they wouldn't make a fuss, but that they wouldn't be Divas, or getting drunk and trying to beat up Jews, or trying to run down traffic cops. Stuff like that. Or those players who run to the media to complain about the team instead of trying to deal directly with the manager and fix the issues, rather than whining like a spoiled little brat.

Guys that understand that this is team sport, and are in it for the team, not just themselves.

Remember Dorn in Major League? The guy who was far more concerned about his next big contract than how the team was doing right then? That's basically the guy the Twins DON'T want.

FrodaddyG
02-13-2013, 03:56 PM
Remember Dorn in Major League? The guy who was far more concerned about his next big contract than how the team was doing right then? That's basically the guy the Twins DON'T want.
I think most teams would shy away from fictional cartoonish caricatures of self-important athletes.

LoganJones
02-13-2013, 04:46 PM
Remember Dorn in Major League? .

Get in front of the damn ball!

spideyo
02-13-2013, 05:43 PM
I think most teams would shy away from fictional cartoonish caricatures of self-important athletes.
I dunno, the vikings signed Moss TWICE

LoganJones
02-14-2013, 12:35 PM
I dunno, the vikings signed Moss TWICE
When I hear that Roger Dorn is a cartoon parody and over the top, I am reminded of a few people. Manny Ramirez, Albert Belle, Milton Bradley, Alex Rodriguez, to name a few. These are real people with real lack of self awareness who are much more outrageous than anything Dorn pulled in the movies.