I understand that Mauer only has 1 year left on his contract, but it is amazing, to me, that he doesn't even make it to #20 in this list of the club's most valuable assets. Less valuable than Trevor May, Tyler Duffey, Taylor Rogers, Adalberto Mejia, or Alex Kirilloff, eh? I'm not buying. If he has virtually minimal value as an asset, why even keep him in the lineup?
I'm glad this topic arose, because it was definitely one of the main thinkers that hit me as I compiled the list.
First of all, I love Joe Mauer, and he redeemed himself in a big way last year. I'm glad to have him in the lineup. No doubt about that. HOWEVER, I look at it this way: if you could dump him and his $23M salary this year and replace it with, say, Carlos Santana + a $3M reliever, you'd do that 10 out of 10 times, no? Or what if you could sign another solid slugging 1B for a fraction of Santana's price, and then have even more to spend elsewhere?
The fact is that an average-ish first baseman in his mid-30s who is extremely expensive -- and whose contract makes him unmoveable -- has little practical value for a team that's trying to build with a big-picture view.
Mauer has some uncommon skills -- he's among the best defenders and most disciplined hitters at his position -- but the full package is pretty replaceable. Yes, I'd say more so than Kirilloff, May, Duffey, etc.
Nick, Would you mind sharing your 25-21 players with us? I am curious. The players aged 24 or younger on your list are very, very impressive. Looking at this list, I believe we need a catcher and several more starting pitchers under 25 to make me feel more comfortable with the Twins' future. Middle infield and OF look strong. We will need a 1B soon and maybe a 3B, but we can draw from our middle infielders for 3B. Do you think Dozier has the arm for 3B? As Dozier ages, that might be a good shift...or what about 1B for Dozier? Thank you for a great series.
I didn't really rank beyond 20 but I will say that some of the players who just missed the cut were Garver, Escobar, Thorpe, Rooker, Enlow, and Graterol. Anyone else that people feel deserves consideration?
(The question about Dozier playing third is a good one and probably deserving of its own longer thread/discussion)