07-12-2012, 12:23 PM #1
Defending Joe Mauer's value at $23m/Per
It is super popular to rip Mauer and his contract, more specifically his "output/dollar spent ratio" but let's be honest - it is 100% not his fault the Twins are so bad this season. Yes, even when you factor in how his $23m/yr ties up so much payroll. My argument:
1) Mauer is the best offensive catcher in the AL. He is also paid the most.
2) Everyone wants to make the argument that he ties up $23m/year for his "pedestrian production". The guy is leading MLB in OBP. He is 4th in AL BA - he has an OPS of .865 and an OPS+ of 140.
Here are the slash lines of the "All Star" catchers. The one nearest Joe is Yadier Molina who should be projected with a grain of salt because he sold his soul to the devil in exchange for a two year spike in OPS after SEVEN seasons of combined below .700 OPS.
At least Joe provides production at the top of his position by one metric for that $23m/per.
Here is another way the Twins are spending $24.25m/yr.
7W 14L 6.45ERA 152IP 194H 79K 109ER 66BB 1.71WHIP 4.67K/9
This ghastly pitching line is the combined totals for Pavano, Blackburn, Baker and Capps for 2012. At a combined cost of $24.25m in 2012.
It is really hard to complain about Mauer's output/dollar spent ratio when you view this output/dollar spent crap sandwich.
07-12-2012, 12:28 PM #2
The Twins have misallocated funds, and there's no question about this. Mauer deserves some of the blame, as he's playing more like a 15M/year catcher right now than a 23M/year catcher. Then again, that money was getting spent regardless, as the Twins would have been run out of MN had they not locked up Mauer after getting a public stadium... The real question is whether Mauer would have gotten more on the open market... I suspect he would have, and I certainly don't blame him for maximizing his income. The question will be how he performs in the next few years. Even this year he doesn't seem 100%, but he has plenty more prime years on that deal.... Hopefully, next season looks like something a bit closer to 2009 where he at least is a lock for 10-20 home runs to go with the BA...
07-12-2012, 12:35 PM #3
We can all look back at 2009 being a complete fluke in the playing career of Joe Mauer. Is he worth the 180 million, probably not but the timing of the staduim, Joe finally hitting for power, the Yankees and Sox needing catcher and the Twins popularity at an all time high was the perfect storm for the Twins to get bent over.
07-12-2012, 12:37 PM #4
Quick second thought....can we compare Mauer's numbers to over catchers around the league now cause it's clear Joe Mauer isn't a fulltime catcher anymore. He's DH and play 1B to keep him in the lineup, but Mauer ain't a full-time catcher anymore.
07-12-2012, 12:48 PM #5
In all reality its very hard to justify spending 20+ million on anyone, but the market is what it is.
Check out the other top earners this year and determine if they are "living up to the total dollar value":
1. A-Rod- 30mm, Nope.
2. Vernon Wells- 24mm. nope
3.Johan Santana- 23mm. Nice season so far, but nope.
4.Mark Texiera 23mm. Nope. .808 OPS
5. Prince Fielder 23mm Nope. Mauer actually has a higher OPS+
6. CC Sabathia 23mm- maybe but signs point to no. 3.45 ERA
Adrian Gonzalez. nope. 745 OPS
Cliff Lee. Nope. 3.98 ERA
Miguel Cabrera. Yes.
Carl Crawford. LOL nope.
Halladay. Nope. 3.98 ERA
Ryan Howard. Nope.
By comparison Mauer's contract actually looks pretty decent.
07-12-2012, 12:48 PM #6
this is true... most catchers play a bit over 100 games or so... He won't hit 90 at his current pace. I have no issues getting him reps at 1st/DH to get his bat in the game more, but that value drops signficantly when he isn't behind hte plate. Hopefully, with a full offseason where he isn't recovering from various ailments we can see something between this season and 2009...
07-12-2012, 12:49 PM #7
Mauer is not, and never was, my favorite player. But at the time the contract was signed, in my mind I allocated about $7-$8 million/year to "goodwill" (a/k/a increased marketing and sales revenues attributable to Mauer) and the remainder to salary.
And, even with the debacle of last season (and I really see his behavior last year as a debacle as much as his production), he has seemingly done most of what he could do to get back in the good graces of the fans. He is doing those things that many people griped about -- playing on Sundays, playing in a high percentage of games, playing catcher regularly. (The one thing I would have liked to see to "make up" for last season was a significant charitable contribution to something like the Twins Community Fund but that's just a personal preference for me).
So his production this year is satisfactory to me (and is actually exceeding what I said would be okay with me). If he should manage to inject some more excitement by making a real run at the batting title again, that would be all the better.
Last edited by JB_Iowa; 07-12-2012 at 12:51 PM.
07-12-2012, 12:50 PM #8
07-12-2012, 12:52 PM #9
How do you justify a contract cause of the stupidity of other GM's?
NTM there's a couple "yes" in there you're missing, but looking at nothing but OPS or ERA is how you grade things. How's that Blackburn contract working out...still waiting for that 4 ERA and 11-12 wins a year.
07-12-2012, 12:54 PM #10
#1 he gets paid about twice what any other top catcher gets paid. #2 he has only started 42% of the Twins games behind the plate. So it's hard to compare him with full time catchers. #3 Players that get paid north of 20 million are run producers driving in 100-125 runs a year not 80. Is he a very good singles hitter, yes. A very good obp guy yes but those guys aren't worth 23 million. An 80 rbi, number 3 hitter can't make 25% of the payroll no matter where he plays part time, imo.
07-12-2012, 12:55 PM #11
07-12-2012, 12:56 PM #12
07-12-2012, 12:57 PM #13
The answer is yes:
Take a average output of the top Catchers, an average output of the top 1B's and an average output of the top DH's then weight them in a 60%, 25%, 15% fashion.
This would be like calculating the ERA of 3 pitchers if one threw 60% of the innings, one threw 25% of the innings and one 15%.
The math can be done - I'm just to lazy to do it.
07-12-2012, 01:02 PM #14
So suddenly OPS isn't a good way to determine how a player is hitting? Or am I not including the fact that Prince and Texiera play the easiest position in baseball?
For pitchers should I use wins instead of ERA? I'm confused.
07-12-2012, 01:05 PM #15
07-12-2012, 01:09 PM #16
Prince-Were taking about a half-season sample size. Bit early IMO to proclaim no.
CC-YES YES YES and YES one more time for good measure.
Lee-Yes, he's still pitching well while being saddled highier then normal BABIP
Halladay-Being hurt doesn't help, but if I still lean toward yes cause even though his yearly salary is high, he's been balls for years and is on a 3 year deal.
07-12-2012, 01:11 PM #17
So it is entirely appropriate to look at how other large contracts have worked out.
07-12-2012, 01:12 PM #18
Mauer is at $13 million right now, so he's roughly on track to 'earn' his salary on the field (putting aside things like merchandise).
07-12-2012, 01:14 PM #19
07-12-2012, 01:17 PM #20
So if that's the case, Mauer's salary should show up as $15-16 million of payroll, and there should be a few million payroll dollars left to sign better pitchers than the Jason Marquises of the world. Marketing should be separate from payroll.