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Article: MIL 5, MIN 4: Jake Cave Homers in MLB Debut

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With every new injury comes an opportunity for another player to emerge. Joe Mauer was placed on the DL, opening the door for outfielder...
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Request to Writers and Posters

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This request is for everyone who contributes to Twins Daily. I try to read as many of the articles, forums, and blogs as I can because i...
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Just let Sano rehab here in Minnesota

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:35 AM
With Mauer out, Morrison will be playing first. DH is open, so Sano can DH here just as well as Rochester. Maybe wait an extra day or so...
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Game Thread: Twins vs. Milwaukee 5-20 @ 1:10 PM CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:37 AM
  ANNND Welcome back weirdos! To another episode of Minnesota Twins Whine Line: Take a Chance! Edition. We got some things off our...
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Article: Twins Minor League Report (5/19): Jaye with a Gr...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 10:37 AM
Myles Jaye threw seven innings of one-hit ball to help lead Rochester to a 2-1 win. Meanwhile, Tyler Jay was on the mound in the bottom o...
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What Needs To Happen For Joe Mauer To Be A Twin In 2019?

There is no question that Joe Mauer is one of the greatest Minnesota Twins to ever put on the uniform, and that he will one day see his number retired along with former Twins greats like Kirby Puckett and Rod Carew. Despite this, Mauer’s future as a player with the Twins after 2018 seems to be in question.
Image courtesy of Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Entering 2019, Mauer will be going into his age 36 season with what will at best be a slightly above average bat and good defense. The problem is he is limited to playing first base, and there are plenty of quality bats at first to go around. Additionally, first base is a position that is very limited in the upside a quality defensive player can bring. This will make it very easy for "Falvine" to replace Mauer with a quality player after his contract expires.

I am sure most Twins fans, myself included, would like to see Joe Mauer play out the rest of his career in a Twins uniform. So, the question is, what will it take for that to happen?

Joe Mauer Repeats His 2017 Season

Mauer’s turnaround last season was a big part of the Twins improved level of play. A big reason for his success was his strikeout rate falling to 13.9%, the lowest it has been since 2012. Mauer also had by far his best defensive season since moving to first base. This resulted in a 2.3 fWAR season from the one-time MVP, twice as much as he put up in 2015 and 2016 combined.

If Mauer can repeat his success again in 2018, he will still be a viable MLB option a first going into 2019. However, if he shows some regression, and returns to his previous form, it would be tough for Joe to even get an MLB contract next winter.

Logan Morrison’s Option Doesn’t Get Picked Up

Perhaps the surprise of the Twins offseason was inking Logan Morrison to a one year and $6.5 million contract, with a vesting option for a second year if he reaches 500 plate appearances this season. If this option gets picked up, it will take up one of the two potential spots that Joe Mauer could fill as a member of the 2019 Minnesota Twins.

Additionally, bringing back Mauer to team up with Morrison as the first base/DH duo would still leave the Twins with the double lefty problem that currently exists. The front office was willing to make this work given the fact that Morrison is otherwise a steal at $6.5 million. Going into next offseason, there might be a few right-handed hitting options at first that might be more appealing to the Twins.

Brent Rooker Isn’t MLB Ready for The Start of 2019

Even though Brent Rooker was drafted as an outfielder and did see roughly 75% of his playing time last season in left, many believe that he will eventually break through with the Twins as either a first baseman or a designated hitter. The biggest reasons for this are his large 6’3” frame profiling better at first along with the crowded young outfield that the Twins already possess.

If Rooker continues to tear up minor league pitching, the 23-year-old will fly up through the Twins system and could even push for a spot in 2018. Rooker also brings the element of a right-handed power bat that the Twins will need in 2019, especially if they lose Brian Dozier to free agency.

Miguel Sano Can Stay at Third Base

One of the biggest question marks that the Twins need to answer this season is the long-term ability for Miguel Sano to stay at third base. If Sano can somehow play an adequate third base (given both the titanium rod in his leg and the lack of ability he has shown in the past) it would be a near miracle.

If Sano shows that he will be unable to stick at third, the most logical move would be to either first base or DH. This would create an even bigger logjam for Mauer to remain with the team given that Sano is under team control through at least the 2021 season.

Joe Mauer Takes a Hometown Discount

There is no question that the St. Paul native, who has known only one city for his growing up years and entire major league life, would love to finish out his career in Minnesota. In fact, it is hard to think of many players in the history of major league baseball who had more of a reason to take a hometown discount than Joe Mauer.

That being said, I am not Joe Mauer, so therefore I can not definitively say whether or not he will be willing to take a hometown discount, and if so how much of one. That will be something that Joe will need to consider before he decides on his future next winter.

As great as it would be for Joe Mauer to play out his career in Minnesota, it is hard to see that happening without at least three or four of these things happening. Given that the Twins would love to see Morrison play well enough to earn his option for 2019, and for Rooker to force their hand as soon as possible, it will be a catch-22 for Twins fans who wish for Mauer to stay. Hopefully, if 2018 is Joe’s last with the Twins, it will be because of how Morrison and Rooker play this season, and not because of how he plays.

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71 Comments

 

I think some forget how much money is in the game and how little 7-8M a year gets you most of the time in regards to veteran FAs.Mauer was worth over 16M last year.If he has another year like last year with the BA/OBP and defense, he should be able to get more than that.

 

But we'll see cause he'll be at least as good this year, and probably better.

 

Morrison didn't......

I think some forget how much money is in the game and how little 7-8M a year gets you most of the time in regards to veteran FAs. Mauer was worth over 16M last year. If he has another year like last year with the BA/OBP and defense, he should be able to get more than that.

But we'll see cause he'll be at least as good this year, and probably better.


Logan Morrison was worth 26.3 million last year.
How much did he sign for?

 

Logan Morrison was worth 26.3 million last year.
How much did he sign for?

Morrison doesn't have the history Mauer does. He has one quality MLB season.

 

Again, we'll see.I hope he signs with the Twins for a discount.I actually believe he will.

 

Morrison didn't......

Morrison doesn't have the history Mauer does. He has one quality MLB season.

 

Again, we'll see.I hope he signs for a discount with the Twins.I actually believe he will.

 

And I wouldn't count on FA market acting next offseason the way it did this offseason.

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Andrew Thares
Mar 13 2018 03:41 PM

 

Morrison doesn't have the history Mauer does. He has one quality MLB season.

 

Again, we'll see.I hope he signs for a discount.I actually believe he will.

Morrison is also going to be in just his age 30 season this year. In 2019, Joe will be 36.

    • KGB and ewen21 like this

 

Morrison is also going to be in just his age 30 season this year. In 2019, Joe will be 36.

and he had one decent season in his career.

There is another way that Mauer can remain a Twin for life:Accept a "special assistant" position, like his buddies ;)

 

Way too early to even start thinking about Mauer and this off-season.Let's see what kind of season Mauer, Morrison, Vargas, and Rooker have, including health-wise and can pick up the conversation in October/November...

 

There is another way that Mauer can remain a Twin for life:Accept a "special assistant" position, like his buddies ;)

 

Way too early to even start thinking about Mauer and this off-season.Let's see what kind of season Mauer, Morrison, Vargas, and Rooker have, including health-wise and can pick up the conversation in October/November...

And that's what's gonna happen.And it should.Rooker won't be a factor though.WAY too early to think about him starting next year.

All it would take, is for Joe to join the launch angle evolution, hit .300ish with 35 homers, 100 rbi, 40 doubles, and 2 stolen bases. The perfect swing evolves in the mid thirties, grabs the power that his large strong body dormantly stores.....and he extends his career a productive 3-4 years and cruises into the HOF. Piece of cake.

 

and he had one decent season in his career.

 

But much better than any season Mauer had since 2013...And unfortunately Mauer will not likely be as good again.

 

But much better than any season Mauer had since 2013...And unfortunately Mauer will not likely be as good again.

ok, well see.

    • Thrylos likes this
Jimmer, do you have any specific reasons you feel so strongly that Mauer will improve in 2018? Or just a feeling?
    • jimmer likes this

 

Jimmer, do you have any specific reasons you feel so strongly that Mauer will improve in 2018? Or just a feeling?

I believe he's finally better and that he'll only keep getting better.The talent is there.We've seen it.

    • Dozier's Glorious Hair likes this

I believe he's finally better and that he'll only keep getting better. The talent is there. We've seen it.


But even if he is finally better, doesn't the aging curve at some point negate some of that?
Not saying improvement isn't on the spectrum of possibilities, but you seem too feel it's practically inevitable.

 

But even if he is finally better, doesn't the aging curve at some point negate some of that?
Not saying improvement isn't on the spectrum of possibilities, but you seem too feel it's practically inevitable.

I believe there's a strong possibility, but of course he could go the other way.No doubt it could.  

 

Logan Morrison was worth 26.3 million last year.
How much did he sign for?

Excellent point.I love how Fangraphs determines how much money a player is worth.Are we REALLY using this as a benchmark for how the market should pay these players?I think they are using the Yen as their basis.

 

Personally I don't sign Mauer no matter what he does this year.He had "post concussion symptoms" for three years.I am not putting out money for a 36 year old player with that history.Not sure how and why the concussion thing doesn't get discussed when talking about a possible extension.It seems to only be deployed when explaining away those three mediocre seasons he had in a row.

    • Thrylos and KGB like this

Oh, and Fangraphs doesn't determine what a player is worth.It determines a player's WAR and the market determines what 1 WAR is worth based on contracts given.

    • Mike Sixel and Twins33 like this

The point remains.He is a player who claims to have post concussion symptoms going through three seasons.That doesn't exactly make him marketable.

 

Please don't make the topic about me, Jim.Not sure why you initiated that

kee

I believe he's finally better and that he'll only keep getting better.The talent is there.We've seen it.

 

How does this work?Joe turns 35 next month and with his history of injuries he is going to "keep getting better".When you extend out the timeline far enough everyone outlives their usefulness.In terms of baseball players, who gets better after 35??

How is deciding to move on from Mauer "treating him poorly"?


You’ll note that I put that part in quotes and you can interpret it however you’d like. My experience with casual sports fans are that they very much side with players versus owners. In our state in particular, it strikes me that casual fans believe that someone who has stayed with a team for his whole career and who has been “classy” throughout (I’ll interpret classy for you: hasn’t been in trouble and otherwise appears to be a good citizen) deserves to stay around as long as they can reasonably play, regardless of the compensation they have received previously. Given that casual fans make up a large portion of the money that comes to the organization, I think there is another point than those laid out by the author (who did a very good job laying out his points. I just disagree.).

So there.

Peace.

You’ll note that I put that part in quotes and you can interpret it however you’d like. My experience with casual sports fans are that they very much side with players versus owners. In our state in particular, it strikes me that casual fans believe that someone who has stayed with a team for his whole career and who has been “classy” throughout (I’ll interpret classy for you: hasn’t been in trouble and otherwise appears to be a good citizen) deserves to stay around as long as they can reasonably play, regardless of the compensation they have received previously. Given that casual fans make up a large portion of the money that comes to the organization, I think there is another point than those laid out by the author (who did a very good job laying out his points. I just disagree.).

So there.

Peace.


Fair enough. I don't agree though.
I think the casual fan might grumble if he's let go, but in the end it will be wins and losses that determine how much of their money the team actually gets.

I'm also not sure where the player vs. owner part of your response comes from. The idea, if Joe is let go, would be to allocate that money and roster spot towards different players, not for the owner to pocket it.

I think there is a chance that Joe comes back on a favorable deal to be a spot starter and bench bat after this season. It would be a good combo with Sano if Sano can still play 50% of the games at 3B. He still has a decent amount of value in that role.

But I also don't think that Joe will have a lot of value around the league regardless of what his WAR is. WAR is handy for determining a rough value of a player but it can't be used solely to determine contract size. Especially using a one year sample. Joe was worth 1.2M - 7.6M - 18.1M the last 3 seasons. A 36 year non power hitting 1B that can't play everyday almost definitely isn't getting >10M/yr. He is also unlikely to get a 2 year contract imo.

    • Carole Keller, Mr. Brooks and ewen21 like this

Plus it is possible teams are finally figuring out $/WAR should not be linear....meaning the correction for 1-2 WAR players is real. At least under this CBA.

    • jokin and jimmer like this

Fair enough. I don't agree though.
I think the casual fan might grumble if he's let go, but in the end it will be wins and losses that determine how much of their money the team actually gets.

I'm also not sure where the player vs. owner part of your response comes from. The idea, if Joe is let go, would be to allocate that money and roster spot towards different players, not for the owner to pocket it.

It's pretty clear that the Twins are now operating on different terms than they were ten years ago.This isn't a small market team, we are mid-market and have enough resources to compete.If Mauer were not resigned then that money will be allocated to bring in other players.I actually am curious to see what this group can do without Mauer and a payroll equal to the one we have now.We might be able to make a MUCH BETTER team (which is what I am interested in, not whether or not Joe is allowed to play as long as he wishes).

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Brock Beauchamp
Mar 13 2018 05:37 PM

kee

How does this work? Joe turns 35 next month and with his history of injuries he is going to "keep getting better". When you extend out the timeline far enough everyone outlives their usefulness. In terms of baseball players, who gets better after 35??

It’s pretty rare but not unheard of. Paul Molitor had the best four year stretch of his career from age 34 to 37.
    • jimmer, gagu and Dozier's Glorious Hair like this

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