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Thread: Randball Column: Shapiro on the Mauer negotiations

  1. #1
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Smile Randball Column: Shapiro on the Mauer negotiations

    Interesting column by Rand on Ron Shapiro's forthcoming book (which looks even more interesting). Column at: http://www.startribune.com/sports/blogs/231930221.html

    According to new details of the negotations, addressed at length in agent Ron Shapiro's upcoming book and chronicled to some degree by Forbes -- Shapiro believed Mauer would be worth 10 years and $300 million on the open market.

    Mauer, however, wanted to stay in Minnesota. As such, per Forbes:
    The Twins offered Mauer a 5-year, $90 million contract. Shapiro countered with a demand of 9-years and $243 million ($27 million per year on average).

    We'll never know if he'd have gotten those 10 years/$30 million.

    It'll be interesting to see what techniques and arguments Shapiro used to get the Twins into the real world.

    Rand also poses the following at the end:
    After reading all this, we can't help but wonder -- particularly in light of Mauer's recent position switch to first base -- what the perception would be if Shapiro had snagged a $300 million deal with another club or got everything he wanted with the Twins ... or conversely, how a 5-year deal vs. the 8-year deal ultimately signed might be viewed by Twins fans.

    I think the 5-year deal would have been greeted more favorably even if it was for more money per year. As I recall, a lot of reservations had to do with length of contract. But it is interesting to me that Mauer offered what they saw as a hometown discount on BOTH money and years.
    Last edited by JB_Iowa; 11-14-2013 at 12:48 PM.

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    Yeah, I think if Mauer had hit the open market, he'd come close to 30m AAV. Maybe not 10 years but close. Remember, he would have been a free agent in the same offseason that teams gave Jayson Werth and Carl Crawford 20m+/year deals and the Yankees, Tigers and Red Sox all needed catching help.

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    Senior Member All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    5 and 90? Did Johan teach the organization nothing?

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    If Mauer hit the open market immediately after his crazy 2009, maybe he approaches $30m annually. But he was set to hit the market after 2010, when it became very clear his 2009 was quite a bit of a spike. The Twins probably got him for the market rate.

    This thinking by Shapiro suggests they were probably resisting any earlier extension talks. I'm guessing Santana did too -- both wanted to hit the open market at a certain time.

    What's interesting is the 5/90 offer -- I wonder when that was made? If that was after 2009, that's an incredible lowball, and I'm guessing if Mauer wasn't tied to MN the negotiations would have ended there.

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    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    What's interesting is the 5/90 offer -- I wonder when that was made? If that was after 2009, that's an incredible lowball, and I'm guessing if Mauer wasn't tied to MN the negotiations would have ended there.
    My first reaction (and I had this in my post but pulled it out when I edited) was that it was incredibly lowball as well.

    But it is really only lowball in terms of total value. It was still $18 million a year and while they didn't quite "meet in the middle" on the annual salary, it wasn't that far off. $18m - $23m - $27m

    And the years ended up at 5 - 8 - 9 so again, Shapiro "won".

    But you have to think that the Twins knew they were going to have to stretch it out more than they did with their initial offer. It'll be interesting to read more about Shapiro's strategy but also to see if he comments at all on what the Twins' strategy appeared to be. I'm also going to be interested to see what he says about the role the media played -- as well as the role of opening Target Field.

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Boom Boom's Avatar
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    5/90? If that was really the Twins' original offer, it's an insult, and also the Twins really negotiated badly if they caved from 5/90 to 8/184.

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    Senior Member Triple-A B Richard's Avatar
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    Shapiro is an excellent negotiator- I've met and had the chance to speak with Ron on a couple occasions. He is extremely honest at the bargaining table and his reputation in the industry is sterling. If he says he thinks Mauer could have gotten 10/300, I certainly believe it.
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    Mauer wasn't getting 10/300. Nobody's gotten 10/300, and I doubt a catcher was going to be the first to do it. Pujols only got 10/240 a year later. Even A-Rod's ridiculous Yankee contract was only 10/275 (although it has a lot of weird bonuses in it).

    9/243, maybe, if he could get LAD, LAA, NYY, BOS bidding against each other. But even that would have been a tough sell after Mauer came down to earth a bit in 2010.

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    The 5/90 offer certainly fits the Twins profile. How the heck do you even negotiate that up to 8/184? Isn't that basically admitting you weren't serious before? Even if you give them the benefit of the doubt that 5/90 was legit in their minds, they would also have to believe 8/184 could easily bankrupt the franchise. There's a lot not to like from that approach. Hunter and Santana certainly didn't like it -- both immediately turned around and got about twice what the Twins offered them.

    I always thought TR might make an offer like that (and perhaps stick to it) -- a little surprised if that's where Bill Smith started too.

    The Twins definition of "elite money" is at odds with ~26 other MLB teams. Their definition of "decent money" might be at odds with all 29 other teams, pending the results of this offseason.

  10. #10
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    keep in mind that Mauer's contract was being renegotiated after teh 2009 season. In this case, that extra year likely burned the Twins bad.

  11. #11
    Senior Member All-Star James's Avatar
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    This all funny to me. I'm taking a negotiations class right now, and one of the first things they teach you is that your first offer should be higher (or lower if you're buying) than anything you actually expect to get. So, the Twins opening with 5/90 ($18M/year) isn't exactly an insult. It's just a starting position. I don't think that they reasonably expected to sign him for 5/90.
    You can come up with statistics to prove anything. Forty percent of all people know that.

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Boom Boom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    This all funny to me. I'm taking a negotiations class right now, and one of the first things they teach you is that your first offer should be higher (or lower if you're buying) than anything you actually expect to get. So, the Twins opening with 5/90 ($18M/year) isn't exactly an insult. It's just a starting position. I don't think that they reasonably expected to sign him for 5/90.
    I get what you're saying, but by that logic the Twins could have started at 2/10.

    I think there's a contract above 5/90 that the Twins could have started at if they were shooting for something they knew Mauer would turn down.

    Fairness in conversation - this may not be accurate anyway. Shapiro says the Twins offered to sign Mauer to a 5/90 contract - who wouldn't?

  13. #13
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
    I get what you're saying, but by that logic the Twins could have started at 2/10.

    I think there's a contract above 5/90 that the Twins could have started at if they were shooting for something they knew Mauer would turn down.

    Fairness in conversation - this may not be accurate anyway. Shapiro says the Twins offered to sign Mauer to a 5/90 contract - who wouldn't?
    I'm sure they could have started higher but they needed to gauge what was more important to Mauer -- years or dollars.

    According to the Forbes article, the Twins made the 1st offer (which would be logical). $18 million a year wasn't insulting. 5 years may have been somewhat insulting but it was a reasonable length. They had to test his response to see where Joe & his agent were coming from. It doesn't look to me like the Mauer team was insulted but it'll be interesting to read about their thought processes when Shapiro's book comes out.

    Like I said, when I made the first post on this thread, I started to say things about Twins low-ball offer but after I thought about it, I edited it out before any other response after I did the $18m/year math. I just don't see $18m/year as an insult so then it comes down to the number of years. There is no use negotiating against yourself. And obviously the Twins moved quite a bit.

  14. #14
    Senior Member All-Star James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
    I get what you're saying, but by that logic the Twins could have started at 2/10.

    I think there's a contract above 5/90 that the Twins could have started at if they were shooting for something they knew Mauer would turn down.

    Fairness in conversation - this may not be accurate anyway. Shapiro says the Twins offered to sign Mauer to a 5/90 contract - who wouldn't?
    Ok. You have to also have to be able to back up your first offer with some sort of logic. So offering 2/10 would have actually been insulting and probably would have shut the negotiation down right away, especially because he was already making $10.5M for just 2009, and scheduled to make $12.5M in 2010. Offering up a 50% raise isn't exactly insulting, but the Twins probably knew that it would take more in years and dollars.
    You can come up with statistics to prove anything. Forty percent of all people know that.

  15. #15
    Well, as qualifying offers keep rising, it will be interesting to see what eight years of qualifying offers would bring Mauer in the endgame.

    The Twins have to stop lowballing (wait, they didn't lowball Correia). I don;'t think hometown discounts exist anymore, unless you are 38 and running year-to-year on wanting to play...and then it is now longer a GREAT discount.

    Even playing for less on a winner is hard to take...no one can predict who will win or lose.

    Agents sure work for their cut of the pie!
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    rosterman at www.twinscards.com

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