It's interesting to note that national media articles about terrible contracts don't mention Mauer as a contender. Cabrera's recent 10-year extension, Pujols' long deal, Prince Fielder all are much worse. I'm glad we didn't sign Hamilton for what the Angels did. Ooh, I know- Alex Rodriguez? No thanks. And those are just the position players- the pitchers have all sorts of bad deals, largely but not entirely because of injuries.
It isn't as great a deal as we hoped back when we thought he'd be catching longer, but it's just not a horrible contract even now, compared to other long-term big money deals. It's the price of signing a big name free agent, or keeping a big name away from free agency. Which, by the way, is the thing we were told the Twins would do when they moved to Target Field. They did it once, and now fans complain about it as if every other big contract worked out great. Would people rather they had dropped $240 million on Robinson Cano for his age 32-41 years? Seriously?
And let's remember, the Twins should still have money to spend. Ask Ricky Nolasco's agent. Maybe you don't like how they spend it (Mike Pelfrey...grrrr....), but they have it.