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Joe Mauer 2019 odds?

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#61 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:39 AM

certainly not by fWAR. Not even close. Where do you get 3 WAR?


He's on pace for about 2.7-2.8 bWAR, so I'm guessing he's rounding that up.
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#62 Mike Sixel

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:58 AM

 

He's on pace for about 2.7-2.8 bWAR, so I'm guessing he's rounding that up.

 

thanks,

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#63 ThejacKmp

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 12:18 PM

Fangraphs did a study. If you have a low OBP team, who hits for power, you are better off adding more of the same kind of player, than a high OBP player. 
 
Mauer might make 2 FWAR this year, but I doubt it. I have no interest in comparing him to SS, C, and pitchers ("league average hitter"), but only their other options and other 1B. It seems clear he can't play 140 games and be effective anymore, so if you have him, you need someone that can play 1B 40-60 times. With a tiny bench, not sure how that works really.
 
The real question is, do they have someone that can play 1B or 3B or RF (if you move Sano or Kepler) that is better than Mauer in 2019. Given that he is league median for 1B (and you'd assume he continues to age and his hitting and baserunning will get worse, that's what age does), I'd hope they can find someone that is league median or better that will be here for more than 1 year.
 
Corner OF FA+Kepler at 1B is probably > Kepler in RF and Mauer at 1B by 2019. If not, then Kepler hasn't progressed and isn't all that good a corner OF compared to other corner OF.


There's no reason that Joe Mauer can't be one of your 12 position players, that stance has never made any sense. Sano can easily play 1B 40 games per year - and it may be a decent idea to lighten his load at 3B a bit, especially with the Twins having Nick Gordon, Vielma, Lewis etc. knocking on the door while Polanco regains his status as a part of the TWins for the next 5 years. That's the second half of your "platoon" right there. You're free to use your 3 bench spots on C, 4th OF and middle infielder to your heart's delight. And if you carry a 13th position player, that can be anyone.

Moving Kepler to 1B seems like a pretty big waste of his outfield ability. He may hit himself off this team but I don't think he's going to field himself to 1B. I'm also not as convinced that a corner OF + Kepler at 1B is a huge upgrade. This year in the OF, the guys signed at the level Mauer would cost were John Jay, Rajai Davis, Matt Joyce, Brandon Moss etc. I'm not sure that any of those guys + Kepler at 1B is an upgrade over Mauer and Kepler, especially when you take fielding into consideration.

Mauer could regress but I don't really see it - he already regressed. He's going to be about the same fielder (very good) and base runner (very meh). Speed has never been his game and 1B isn't a position where a lack of speed hurts you. Hitting wise he could fall off but at $6 million/yr, I'd bet on him being what he is now - a guy who can put up right around an 800 OPS against RHP (75% of MLB pitchers) and who is a nice bench bat in games where LHP start (most closers and 8th inning guys are RH and Mauer becomes a nice guy to PH with late in games). He's become an elite defensive 1B and he doesn't lose you games with his baserunning.

Unless the Twins are jumping payroll, I'll be disappointed if they don't take advantage of Mauer likely giving a hometown discount while locking up Sano, Buxton and co. Spending money on a big free agent OF or 1B just doesn't fit the team's trajectory. Mauer is a great bridge to Diaz and Sano in three to four years.
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#64 sthpstm

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 01:13 PM

The free agent market for 1B/3B/DH seems like it is better this offseason than in the past and likely better than after 2018. I'd like to see the Twins grab one of Santana, Hosmer, Moustakas, Morrison, JD Martinez, Duda and see how that affects this conversation.

I know, I know, we need pitching, but upgrade where you can when you can.

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#65 nicksaviking

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 01:41 PM

The corner players just don't get paid like they used to on the free agent market. Even assuming Mauer is worth rostering in 2019, this is how things tend to play out when a high priced player is facing a depressed market:

 

-Season ends and the team and the player have a conversation during the team's window where they have exclusive rights to re-sign the player.

-Team leaks that there have been talks to re-sign the player causing a rift in the pro-player/move-on-from-the-player fan bases.

-The talks show the player an extreme pay cut so the player decides it can't hurt to see what's on the free agent market.

-The team signs another free agent to fill the player's hole, perhaps even immediately, jumping at the chance to do so knowing that the public has already been made aware that they tried to re-sign the former player but his demands were too high compared to his production.


#66 Brandon Warne

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 01:45 PM

 

I was just thinking about this the other day. I think Kennys Vargas is the player that will dictate whether the Twins will even consider signing Mauer for 2019. I think he'll wind up playing with another team.

 

With Mauer I think it's the same as Perkins -- Twins or retire.

 

Also, I think it's Rooker, not Vargas who'll dictate if anyone does.

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#67 Vanimal46

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 01:50 PM

As long as Mauer is okay with a decreased role as a part-time bench player who gets ~300 PA's, I don't see anything wrong with bringing him back. 


#68 IndianaTwin

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 07:29 PM

I'm of the "a good defensive 1B is worth more to the rest of the infield than we give him credit for" school of thought. And realistically, very few teams (especially in mid-size markets) are going to ever have an above-average hitter AND defender at every position. So if a guy is still playing Gold Glove defense at age 35 or 36 and has any where near a 95 OPS+, I don't have a problem with playing him so that you can spend the money elsewhere.

I do think it will be important to find a way to lower him in the order, which in itself will soften the blow of being an average to below-average hitter, since it will knock off 50+ plate appearances.

 

I also have a wondering about Mauer. In the big scheme of things, we still know very little about the process of returning from concussions. A part of me hypothesizes that his decline may be a little slower than others -- is it possible that the incremental losses in production due to aging will be mitigated a bit by the incremental improvements of being further and further from a concussion? Of course, maybe it goes the other way and folks fall off the map even more quickly when they've had a concussion -- we just don't know.

 

But here's a question for the old-timers. I looked back at a similar situation 13 years ago, when the strike ended the season at about this time. The Twins had a 34-year-old local boy at 1B whose stats that year are actually quite similar to Mauer's stats as a 34-year-old so far this year. Hrbek retired rather than come back in 1995. So, were folks ragging on Hrbek as much as some are ragging on Mauer now, or is this once again a function of the $23MM contract?

 


#69 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 08:15 PM

I'm of the "a good defensive 1B is worth more to the rest of the infield than we give him credit for" school of thought. And realistically, very few teams (especially in mid-size markets) are going to ever have an above-average hitter AND defender at every position. So if a guy is still playing Gold Glove defense at age 35 or 36 and has any where near a 95 OPS+, I don't have a problem with playing him so that you can spend the money elsewhere.

I do think it will be important to find a way to lower him in the order, which in itself will soften the blow of being an average to below-average hitter, since it will knock off 50+ plate appearances.

I also have a wondering about Mauer. In the big scheme of things, we still know very little about the process of returning from concussions. A part of me hypothesizes that his decline may be a little slower than others -- is it possible that the incremental losses in production due to aging will be mitigated a bit by the incremental improvements of being further and further from a concussion? Of course, maybe it goes the other way and folks fall off the map even more quickly when they've had a concussion -- we just don't know.

But here's a question for the old-timers. I looked back at a similar situation 13 years ago, when the strike ended the season at about this time. The Twins had a 34-year-old local boy at 1B whose stats that year are actually quite similar to Mauer's stats as a 34-year-old so far this year. Hrbek retired rather than come back in 1995. So, were folks ragging on Hrbek as much as some are ragging on Mauer now, or is this once again a function of the $23MM contract?


One difference is that 1994 was the first time since his rookie year that Hrbek wasn't a well above league average hitter.
This is now 4 straight years of being right around league average for Mauer.
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#70 twinstalker

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 03:29 AM

The more I've thought about it, the more it makes sense to me that Joe Mauer will be on this team longer than just 2018.  His options will be to continue playing on the cheap for some team or retiring.  I think the compromise that he'll see is that if the Twins will have him, he gets to stay home and continue his career.  The money probably doesn't really matter to him.  I'm not sure what the Twins would pay him, but I'd guess they'd have to see some value in his lh bat and ability to play some 1B.

 

It would actually surprise me if Mauer took a multiyear contract in lieu of playing for the Twns...if the Twins want him.  I think Mauer has no real records to chase.  He likes baseball, probably, and he probably wants to be around his parents and kids both.  What do you think happens with Mauer in 2019?


#71 Sconnie

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:41 AM

If he wanted to be around his parents and kids, why did he play baseball? And why did he buy a house in Florida?

Could be right but some of your logic has holes in it.

I'm not so sure the FO would go with that model. I have no idea what Joe is thinking, but I might take a longer term deal somewhere else just to be able to keep playing. Money might not mean much, but contract length might mean a lot.

Edited by Sconnie, 17 August 2017 - 04:42 AM.


#72 IndianaTwin

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:57 AM

 

One difference is that 1994 was the first time since his rookie year that Hrbek wasn't a well above league average hitter.
This is now 4 straight years of being right around league average for Mauer.

 

That's a good thought. That he's largely plateaued also may lend creedence to my hypothesis about his decline potentially being more gradual than others.

 

Again, if he stays at league average hitter and plays outstanding defense, I can live with that. If that's the team's weakest link, that's a good team. 

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#73 gman

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 05:35 AM

For the type of hitter Joe is, if he played middle infield or catcher he would have value. As a 1B/DH or for a bench role he would need to demonstrate power. I don't think for the limited number of bench spots available the Twins can afford to tie up a roster spot for this type of player. Most other teams are in the same boat.


#74 olivia11

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 07:35 AM

 

For the type of hitter Joe is, if he played middle infield or catcher he would have value. As a 1B/DH or for a bench role he would need to demonstrate power. I don't think for the limited number of bench spots available the Twins can afford to tie up a roster spot for this type of player. Most other teams are in the same boat.

 

I don't know. Why do we have to think of each position this way?  I think the Twins can make up for the below-average power at 1B at other positions.  In 2018, I could see the Twins having a really balanced lineup in terms of power (kind of like how the Astros have 11 players with 10+ hrs and only 1 player with more than 20).  It doesn't seem crazy to me to think that Sano, Dozier (if around), Buxton, Rosario, Kepler, Escobar (if around), Polanco, Castro, Mauer, Gordon, Rooker, 2017 DH/OF FA signing all have the potential to hit 10+ home runs in a season, with some (of course) hitting many more.  

 

Of course, not all of those players would be on the team, but I can see many ways that the Twins could have double-digit players hitting double-digit home runs by 2018.  Then, "below average power" at 1B doesn't much.  They also need OBP and Mauer gets on base better than anyone (including Grossman - and is a better fit than Grossman. 

 

Plus, Mauer is still one of the top 5 hitters on this team. It's of course hard to predict what the bench would look like in 2018, but I have a hard time thinking that Mauer playing 80-100 games between 1B and DH wouldn't help the team. 

Edited by olivia11, 17 August 2017 - 07:36 AM.

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#75 mikelink45

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 07:47 AM

So long Joe - we cannot afford him after 2018.  He has no big numbers to pursue.  He will have 2000 hits and there is no way he can get to any stat of consequence beyond that.  As we all know his HR and RBI stats are not worthy of 1B/DH and have no place in game history. The longer he plays the more his batting average dips and it would be good if it stayed above .300 - I remember Mickey Mantle's anguish when he fell below .300 "My biggest regret was letting my lifetime average drop below .300," Mickey Mantle once said. He added, "it made me want to cry."

 

I know modern stat heads do not value BA like many of us old timers and the uninformed, but it is a nice figure that does have value.  Joe's value has always been OBP and he is currently number 102 on the all time career list with .390 but that will go down with each season since his OBP has been in the .360s since 2013 so he is not going for a career position there - he is instead going down the list. 

https://www.baseball...rc_career.shtml

 

His OPS is below a star status and our memory of his HOF catching career is fading.  I do not hear about his clubhouse presence so he is not going to be our Torii Hunter.   

 

His career WAR is 275 tied with Norm Cash and Babe Adams.  He can add to this, but even at 56 he is tied with Johnny Damon, George Uhle and Robin Venture.  All of these are nice players, not superstars or HOF caliber which means that they are not worth Mauer's contract. https://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/WAR_career.shtml

 

One question I cannot answer is how far a team can go in reducing the amount of a contract when they resign a player. 


#76 DocBauer

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 08:02 AM

I've always felt, and stated, that position by position a team can be built in many ways. A classic example was the Twins with Puckett in CF. At that time, there were very few CF who had that type of power and offensive ability. Most were leadoff types and defense first players. But having someone with that kind of production in CF, (or SS in the case of other teams), meant you could have a "lesser" offensive player at another position. So Mauer at 1B, playing great defense, and doing what he does offensively, is not necessarily a black hole.

All of that being said, Mauer back for 2019 is a long way from being determined. Now, he has rebounded some offensively this season. Can he maintain that for the rest of the season and in to and through 2018? Another year older and with a young family, will he simply decide it's time to walk away and spend more time with them? I'm not a betting man, but if I were, if lay money he retires after 2018 to be with his family and no longer deal with the seasonal grind and injuries.

"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."

 

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#77 USAFChief

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 01:12 PM

"But having someone with that kind of production in CF, (or SS in the case of other teams), meant you could have a "lesser" offensive player at another position"

 

I don't agree with this line of thinking at all.  If you gain at one position, but give it back at another, you're no better than the other team.  You're back to average.

 

The object is to be better than the other teams.

 

 

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#78 yarnivek1972

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 02:41 PM

"But having someone with that kind of production in CF, (or SS in the case of other teams), meant you could have a "lesser" offensive player at another position"

I don't agree with this line of thinking at all. If you gain at one position, but give it back at another, you're no better than the other team. You're back to average.

The object is to be better than the other teams.


I'm not convinced that's been an objective of the Twins over the last ten years.

#79 DocBauer

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 08:59 PM

"But having someone with that kind of production in CF, (or SS in the case of other teams), meant you could have a "lesser" offensive player at another position"
 
I don't agree with this line of thinking at all.  If you gain at one position, but give it back at another, you're no better than the other team.  You're back to average.
 
The object is to be better than the other teams.


In theory, I agree with you. You always try to have at least an average player at every position, if not above average. It just doesn't always work that way. Very, very hard to have an all star or possible all star or above average player at every position. And I think we also have to examine and explore what above average means. Not necessarily by position. For example: Do most 1B posses power Mauer doesn't have? Absolutely! But does Joe offer AVG, OB, contact and defense better than the average 1B? I think it depends on context. And I'm not saying Mauer is or is not above average in this context. But what I am saying is, unless you can field a truly dynamic team at every position in the order, a team is built on various combinations of hitting, power, defense and speed. Guys fit in to a lineup based on these variables for what you hope is maximum output and outcome.

Personally, I think Mauer brings real value. But is his value enough to bring back? Now that we just don't know yet as thjs season isn't done yet, and we don't know what he will bring in 2019. One thing that frustrates me is his usage. I understand Molitor plugging him in to the 3 or 4 hole for professional experience, OB, contact, etc. But as Kepler, Buxton and Rosario continue to develop and improve, and especially if we find a true DH/1B/OF to add to the roster, Maker's role should be either in one of the top 2 spots in the order, or near the bottom to help keep an inning going or set up the top of the order.

My prediction? Mauer is still gone after 2018, not because he's inept, but due to age, a young family, various injuries over the years, etc, and it will be time for he and the Twins to move on.

I know I'm an annoying broken record, but I still like the idea of a true DH who can play in the field occasionally, preferably 1B, and re-sign Dozier, move him to 1B, (can still play 2B some days), and run with Gordon and Polanco in 2019 as your keystones combo.

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