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Interesting article about Buxton

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:17 AM
I enjoyed the article linked below about Buxton. As you can see, the Twins and lots of other folks seem to think that he could be a hall...
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Article: DET 4, MIN 1: Niko’s Revenge

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:53 PM
Former Twin Niko Goodrum hit a two-run homer and the Twins' offense couldn’t muster much of anything after the first inning. On the plus...
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Article: MIN 6, DET 0: Lynn Shows Will to Win

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:09 PM
Lance Lynn pitched his best game in a Twins uniform to date, and looked like he was about ready to punch himself in the face in frustrati...
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Article: Twins Daily Roundtable: Top Prospect Timelines

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 08:47 PM
Twins Daily Roundtable is a new weekly series. As part of this series, a question will be posed to the site’s writers and they will respo...
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Article: Bartolo, the Twins, and a Guy Named Phil

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 08:30 PM
The year was 1973 and the Dominican Public had already become a breeding ground for baseball players. With the country producing multiple...
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Joe Mauer's Future

It's no secret that Joe Mauer is in the final year of his eight year, $184 million contract extension signed in 2010. It's also not a secret that Mauer isn't the player he was in 2009 or in the years leading up to that MVP season. What does seem to be a secret, is what thoughts "Falvine" has on Mauer's future past the 2018 season. There are really only three options.
Image courtesy of Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
1. Stay with the Twins
Personally, I think this is the most likely scenario. He's from here, his family is here, he's spent his entire career here, his personality and demeanor (although frustrating to fans) fits well with the "Minnesota nice" mantra, and the Twins are starting to become contenders. So what will it take for the Twins to keep him here?

Since his move from catcher (2012), Mauer has played 813 games as a first basemen, which is good for 13th most among 50 qualified players. In that same time he has provided a 14.7 WAR which is good for 10th best:
  • The "good": He's staying healthier, he's getting on base (6/50 in BA and 5/50 in OBP), and he's become one of the best defensive 1B in the game (#1 in UZR in 2017 among 21 qualified players).
  • The "bad": He'll be 36 in April of 2019 (only six qualified players were 36+ years old in '17), he provides no power as a 1B/DH (42/50 in SLG from 2012-17) and despite being healthier he's still good to miss at least 20 games/year not including the days provides no defensive value as a DH.
I think it's fair to assume that 2017 is the ceiling of what we can expect from Mauer in 2018 and beyond, although he has been lights out so far this season. Looking at salaries for players who are currently 36+ years old, 2017 and 2018 contract agreements, and salaries of other first basemen around the league, I would be looking for the Twins to give Mauer a two- or three-year deal at $8-$10 million/year not including incentives or player/team options. Again, I believe him signing with the Twins is the most likely scenario.

I came up with the $8-$10 million range from looking at the following data.

Yonder Alonso signed with the Indians for $8 million per year. Compared to Mauer he provides a little more power, less OBP, and a lot less defense. He's younger, coming off a career year, and also fits the "launch angle" ideal that so many hitters are trending towards. Ultimately, my opinion is that the pros and cons of both players provide a similar value to a team although the type of value they provide are different. I think that provides a sort of baseline going into next offseason.

I also looked at players who signed in the 2016/17 offseason who were 36+ years old and although the median salary was $7.75 million a few of those guys are getting paid $13 & $16 million. If I were to include 35+ year olds, which is technically how old Mauer will be at the start of the 2019 season, the median is at $8 million and includes Yadier Molina (a career-long Cardinal) getting paid $20 million. Although the median is lower, I think the higher deals give Mauer/Shapiro some room to negotiate an above the median salary. Especially if Mauer performs similarly to how he did in 2017 and/or is able to hit like he currently is for a majority of 2018.

2. Sign Elsewhere
I don't see this happening, but obviously this is a possibility. Assuming Mauer only has a few more years in the big leagues, he could be looking for a team to win now. Now being 2019 or 2020. Depending on what the Twins front office does in free agency over the next couple of years the Twins may or may not be legit World Series contenders. I hate to say it, but with Greg Bird not being able to stay healthy the Yankees may have an opening at first base that would be a good fit for Mauer. Teams like Houston, Boston, the Cubs, Dodgers, Indians and Nationals are also obvious contenders, but currently have a player who is under contract at first base.

3. Retire
From what I have read/heard, there have not been any rumblings that Mauer is ready to hang them up. Doesn't mean it's not something to consider. Honestly, I almost think Joe would be more apt to retire than he would be to sign somewhere else. Moving somewhere else obviously would mean either moving his family or moving away from his family, which I don't think he would want to do.

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84 Comments

You know, I had this idea that Joe ought to sign a blank contract and give the Twins the right to write in the number.  Andre Dawson did that in 1987 with the Cubs and guess who is in the HOF? 
 
But you know, Joe could become known as the greatest team player ever if he said "I've been given a lot by the Twins. I'll play 2019 for free."  Things like that make a man immortal. 
 
It is so rare... that is why it will never happen. Still, my naivete aside,  it would set him apart from everybody


He’d likely be sanctioned and sued by the MLBPA for even suggesting such a thing.
    • ThejacKmp likes this
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Kelly Vance
Apr 14 2018 12:00 PM

MLBPA would have no case, unless this is prohibited by his union membership, which I doubt it is because I doubt it would even remotely have been considered by the union. I think there i s a loophole. . It is a matter of contract between the parties. 

 

He might get beaned his first 100 at bats though 

 

He might get beaned his first 100 at bats though 

 

That would really help his OBP.

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Mr Brooks I started this conversation by stating I doubt he makes 3,000 hits. Then said he could get close. Very true close is a relevant term. Being a huge fan of all things Minnesota I'm both a Twins and Mauer fan. Perfect scenario Joe leads the Twins to a World Series Championship. I also believe Joe is far from a part time player. In a lot of ways similar to Mark Grace.

MLBPA would have no case, unless this is prohibited by his union membership, which I doubt it is because I doubt it would even remotely have been considered by the union. I think there i s a loophole. . It is a matter of contract between the parties.

He might get beaned his first 100 at bats though


There is a minimum salary in baseball, so that would not be a legal contract.
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Nine of twelve
Apr 14 2018 12:50 PM
As of this moment Mauer is second in the majors in BA, second in the majors in OBP and seventh in the majors in OPS. A player with that kind of offensive production is more than welcome in my lineup no matter what position he plays. And if he's a stellar defender on top of that there is nothing to complain about. A 2-year extension for a player who is obviously still able to play baseball at an elite level should be a no-brainer.
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It's easier to carry a non power Mauer when your second baseman hits 30 homers. If they don't resign Dozier, first is a logical place for a power upgrade. I find it interesting that in the Dozier forum, posters were not willing to give a younger and twice as valuable player more than $15 million a year, but are okay with giving Mauer $10.

It's easier to carry a non power Mauer when your second baseman hits 30 homers. If they don't resign Dozier, first is a logical place for a power upgrade. I find it interesting that in the Dozier forum, posters were not willing to give a younger and twice as valuable player more than $15 million a year, but are okay with giving Mauer $10.


I think most people in that thread were willing to go well beyond $15 million per year for Dozier, they just don't want to go beyond 3 years.
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jorgenswest
Apr 14 2018 03:08 PM
Joe Mauer was a catcher through 2013. In every one of those years he had the wear and tear of catching. It is hard to imagine that he is close to matching his plate appearance in seasons since. It can’t even be close.

It would not make sense to split out any DH/PH/1B at bats from his seasons as a catcher but maybe that was what was done. He was still catching a lot of games in those years which would be tough on the body,

Joe Mauer was a catcher through 2013. In every one of those years he had the wear and tear of catching. It is hard to imagine that he is close to matching his plate appearance in seasons since. It can’t even be close.

It would not make sense to split out any DH/PH/1B at bats from his seasons as a catcher but maybe that was what was done. He was still catching a lot of games in those years which would be tough on the body,


It's not about wear and tear (that's an obviously legitimate, but separate discussion.), it's about positional value. In which case it wouldn't make sense to compare his 1B/DH numbers during those years to historical catchers, as the team still had to employ a catcher on those days.
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jorgenswest
Apr 14 2018 03:40 PM

It's not about wear and tear (that's an obviously legitimate, but separate discussion.), it's about positional value. In which case it wouldn't make sense to compare his 1B/DH numbers during those years to historical catchers, as the team still had to employ a catcher on those days.


Are you arguing this is how you expect HOF voters to look at his career or is this how you personally look at his career?

I have to believe most voters will see him as a catcher for those 10 years and understand the significance. There will always be critics but a solid majority will get him elected to the HOF.

None of this has any bearing on his perceived future value. That's what what will drive contract negotiations wherever he lands.


Um, no one said it did? I a!so never made the argument he was in the Wizard of Oz.

You'd rather see the Twins re-sign Mauer than win a World Series? If so, you are Mauer fan and not a Twins' fan.


Because those are the only two options

Are you arguing this is how you expect HOF voters to look at his career or is this how you personally look at his career?

I have to believe most voters will see him as a catcher for those 10 years and understand the significance. There will always be critics but a solid majority will get him elected to the HOF.


I'm saying that when they look at his numbers, they will take into account all of the following: the numbers he put up as a catcher, the numbers he put up post catching, and the numbers he was able to add while playing DH during his catching days, something that relevant historical catchers didn't have the opportunity to do.

If DH'ing during his catching career didn't help limit wear and tear over the course of a season, the Twins wouldn't have put him at DH.

The voters will look at all available information, I don't see why they'd choose to ignore any of it.

I think he if gets a few more solid years at 1B it will help him, not necessarily because the numbers will HOF worthy, but it will help show that his subpar seasons with the big drop-off were due to the concussions.It also adds to the story of someone who always was at the top of his game sticking with it and playing through some bad seasons and having a bit of a come-back.

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jorgenswest
Apr 14 2018 04:43 PM
I

I'm saying that when they look at his numbers, they will take into account all of the following: the numbers he put up as a catcher, the numbers he put up post catching, and the numbers he was able to add while playing DH during his catching days, something that relevant historical catchers didn't have the opportunity to do.
If DH'ing during his catching career didn't help limit wear and tear over the course of a season, the Twins wouldn't have put him at DH.
The voters will look at all available information, I don't see why they'd choose to ignore any of it.


I think they will treat him like Ernie Banks who is in as a SS though he only had 45% of his PA as a SS and more as a 1B. He was a great SS through age 30 winning both his MVPs. 80% of his WAR came through age 30. Banks was a HOF SS and mostly a below average 1B the second half of his career. I have no doubt that Joe Mauer will be in the HOF.
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specialiststeve
Apr 14 2018 04:47 PM

Joe has been a great asset to the Twin's for a long time. His value clearly decreased when he had to go to first for health reasons. That being said he can clearly still rake. He is a table setter and plays a very good 1B defensively. He and the Twin's will work something out to bring him back at a reduced rate.

 

He has made his cash and this will be to continue his legacy.

 

Arguing about his stats is fairly silly He is/was a great hitter with limited power.... period.

 

A 2 year deal for anywhere from 8-12 mill per year would be decent for both sides while we figure out our long-term plan there. Don't have to overthink this one ...

    • ThejacKmp likes this

I
I think they will treat him like Ernie Banks who is in as a SS though he only had 45% of his PA as a SS and more as a 1B. He was a great SS through age 30 winning both his MVPs. 80% of his WAR came through age 30. Banks was a HOF SS and mostly a below average 1B the second half of his career. I have no doubt that Joe Mauer will be in the HOF.


Fair point, but a few points on Banks.
He had 21 more career WAR than Joe currently has.
His peak was much better than Joe's. He had a 10+ WAR season (!!!), a 9+ WAR season, and 2 more 8+ WAR seasons. Joe's best was a 7.8 WAR season, so Banks had 4 seasons better than Joe's 2009 season, which is pretty insane.

If Joe had a peak like that during his catching days, he'd be a 100% first ballot lock.

As it stands now, I think it's a lot closer than you think.
It's so close, IMO, I wouldn't bet even a single dollar on either side of the bet.
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jorgenswest
Apr 14 2018 05:35 PM

Fair point, but a few points on Banks.
He had 21 more career WAR than Joe currently has.
His peak was much better than Joe's. He had a 10+ WAR season (!!!), a 9+ WAR season, and 2 more 8+ WAR seasons. Joe's best was a 7.8 WAR season, so Banks had 4 seasons better than Joe's 2009 season, which is pretty insane.
If Joe had a peak like that during his catching days, he'd be a 100% first ballot lock.
As it stands now, I think it's a lot closer than you think.
It's so close, IMO, I wouldn't bet even a single dollar on either side of the bet.


According to JAWs, Joe is the 7th ranked catcher and Ernie is the 7th ranked SS.

According to JAWs, Joe is the 7th ranked catcher and Ernie is the 7th ranked SS.


Good point.
    • ThejacKmp likes this

 

You'd rather see the Twins re-sign Mauer than win a World Series? If so, you are Mauer fan and not a Twins' fan.

That's a wee bit snarky, don't ya' think??

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killertwinfan
Apr 15 2018 05:41 AM

I am not sure where you go this, but Mauer only played in 113 gamesin 2013 and I think this would make him the highest paid player by a fair margin for that season.To me there is no question that he did not provide the value we expected. Whether it was juiced baseballs or juiced baseball players we needed to see at 25 HR per year and more RBI.$8M, is probably on the high side.$6M is more in my comfort zone.  

 

 

Let's take it a bit further and look at the huge Mauer contract:

 

2017: Mauer has 2.3 WAR. WAR is worth $10.5 mill. Mauer is worth $24.15 mill
2016: Mauer has 0.9 WAR. WAR is worth $10.2 mill. Mauer is worth $9.18 mill
2015: Mauer has 0.2 WAR. WAR is worth $9.6 mill. Mauer is worth $1.92 mill
2014: Mauer has 1.6 WAR. WAR is worth $7.7 mill. Mauer is worth $12.32 mill
2013: Mauer has 5.2 WAR. WAR is worth $7.2 mill. Mauer is worth $37.44 mill
2012: Mauer has 4.5 WAR. WAR is worth $6.2 mill. Mauer is worth $27.9 mill
2011: Mauer has 1.2 WAR. WAR is worth $7.4 mill. Mauer is worth $8.88 mill.

 

Thus far Mauer has been worth $121.79 million in all but the final year of a $184 million contract. 

 

He needs a pretty big throwback season to make the whole contract worth it. If WAR is worth $10.5 million this year he'd need a 6.0 WAR season. So far he has 0.6 WAR and is on pace for 8.8 WAR. Let's rewrite this narrative and make that contract worth it!

 

 

We are not getting him into the HOF.IT will be the Baseball Writers' Association of America, not people from Minnesota (or Twins fans) who love Joe Mauer.  

 

 

 

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Carole Keller
Apr 15 2018 08:16 AM

As of this moment Mauer is second in the majors in BA, second in the majors in OBP and seventh in the majors in OPS. A player with that kind of offensive production is more than welcome in my lineup no matter what position he plays. And if he's a stellar defender on top of that there is nothing to complain about. A 2-year extension for a player who is obviously still able to play baseball at an elite level should be a no-brainer.


Concur. Provided his numbers stay close to that by season’s end. I think it’s too early in the season to proclaim anything about any player.
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Matthew Lenz
Apr 16 2018 08:47 AM

 

all of which ignores that he is the face of the franchise, puts butts in seats and sells #7 jerseys. Ever been to a Twins game? They are everywhere

Yes - he is the face of the franchise and his jersey is popular.If we went buy jerseys we'd be in the hunt for Carew, Killebrew, and Puckett too.This has nothing to do with it.

 

I don't speak for all fans, but I don't know if I ever bought a ticket just to see Mauer play.He's just not that type of player.I bought a ticket to watch Johan pitch, I bought tickets to see McGuire and Sosa, I bought tickets to see a really good Twins team in the mid-2000's, but I have never once bought a ticket to see Joe slap an opposite field single.This isn't me ripping on him...I appreciate everything about Mauer, but my point is that he's not that "must see" type of player IMO.

 

If they bring him back it should only be based on the market value and whether they believe he makes the team better.Don't get me wrong - it would be awful to see Joe in another uniform but I'm also more impressed with wins than watching aging stars bring down a team.At this point, I don't see a viable replacement so as long as we can get him at a fair deal, then I see him in a Twins uniform for the next few years!

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