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Article: Joe Mauer's Future

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#41 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 08:36 AM

The first problem I see is that this is a hard conversation to even fathom until we have a better idea how Joe holds up over the course of this season. I'm going to make an assumption that the Joe we've seen thus far will be pretty similar to the guy that plays the whole year. No, I don't think he will hit .400 (though that will cement the HOF discussion if he does), but I could see a vintage Joe season of a .320 BA, .400 OBP, and a high .400s SLG. That won't be a 6 WAR season at 1st, but it would be pretty respectable, and in an MLB world where there's way too many 2 outcome type guys, a guy like Joe that can get on base more than anyone and has plenty of doubles power to go with it with GG defense. If he does significantly worse, then I'd probably pass, but as long as that OPS stays over .800, I don't see a scenario where upgrading Mauer in the short term will be easy or cheap. 

 

In the minors, you have Vargas (who I'm guessing will not return next year as a 6th year FA) and Rooker. I like Rooker, but I think it's a stretch to say he's going to be ready next year at this time. Realistically, he's likely going to be ready at some point in 2019, but most likely not on April 1. And that is probably a best case scenario. Rooker could stall in AA for all of 2018 and still be a decent prospect, but that would push is ETA to 2020 if that happened.

 

In the majors we have LoMo for 2019 and an opening at DH if Mauer is gone. In 2020, LoMo is gone. Rooker will likely be in the conversation, as could a guy like Lewin Diaz. Perhaps one of the really young guys could surprise, but I'm not sure I'd count on that personally. Bottom line is that other than Rooker, I don't see anyone coming up the pipe that could be a plausible option for 2 spots in 2020 and 1 spot in 2019.

 

That brings me back to Mauer. If he continues to hit, I think there's a good fit here. As a matter of fact, a great one. I don't think a 3-4 year deal would be smart, especially at 36. I do think a 2 year deal with a club or vesting option for a 3rd makes a ton of sense for both parties, especially if Mauer wants to stay. I think he gets somewhere in the 6-10M range per year, and that will depend a lot on how the season plays out. If it's vintage Joe, then probably closer to 10... and I'm fine with that. What I don't see is the team going crazy in FA and getting the best bat out there. We all want that, don't get me wrong, but this will also be a that time where they are doing long term deals with the current core. That high priced deal might mean a guy like Rosario or Kepler ends up being shipped away because they are too expensive. I think Mauer provides plenty of value, and I also think that it's a bit underappreciated in the two outcome baseball that we see today. 

 

So in short, if he keeps hitting, I'm giving him a 2-3 year deal. 

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#42 DrNeau

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 08:43 AM

 

Some talk about Joe's HOF chances on another thread. Thought I'd add some food for thought:

 

Johnny Bench had 2,048 hits

Mike Piazza had 2,127 hits

Carlton Fisk had 2,356 hits

Yogi Berra had 2,150 hits

 

Joe? He's already at 2,000 and will likely surpass all these guys. Yeah yeah, he's been at first base for a few of those games. I don't think that hurts him as much as some of you think.

 

Wally Joyner - 2,060 hits

Don Mattingly - 2,153 hits

Mark Grace - 2,443 hits


#43 bighat

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 09:05 AM

 

Wally Joyner - 2,060 hits

Don Mattingly - 2,153 hits

Mark Grace - 2,443 hits

 

None of them were catchers for the majority of their careers, though. I think that's Joe's ace in the hole.


#44 bighat

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 09:09 AM

 

I compared the numbers from what these players did at the catcher position. Those are just facts and those numbers will be reviewed in the process. 

 

You also just compared stats that reflected negatively on Mauer. For example, you didn't compare career averages as a catcher, season highs in batting average (none of those other guys ever batted .365), MVP trophies, or OBP.

 

So I'm guessing you were kinda trying to bash Mauer in relation to those other guys. No problem with that, you are entitled to your opinion. And you made some good points also. I agree Mauer's got an uphill battle but I do think he deserves heavy consideration for the HOF.

Edited by bighat, 14 April 2018 - 09:10 AM.


#45 Sconnie

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 09:51 AM

FTFY

agreed, too many catcher miles on his legs to reach 3k hits.

Does 2600 or so get him into the Hall? 3 more years would put him less than 50% catcher for his career, which seems to be the threshold for catcher credentials

#46 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 09:56 AM

None of them were catchers for the majority of their careers, though. I think that's Joe's ace in the hole.


Barring injury, Joe at some point in August or September (457 more plate appearances), will no longer have been a catcher for the majority of his career.
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#47 D. Hocking

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 10:09 AM

 

agreed, too many catcher miles on his legs to reach 3k hits.

Does 2600 or so get him into the Hall? 3 more years would put him less than 50% catcher for his career, which seems to be the threshold for catcher credentials

 

I would hate to think he would get penalized due to the fact that he slipped under 50% because he was able to play at a major league level into his mid to late 30's.That should not take away from what he did while he was catcher.

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#48 Eris

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 10:29 AM

 

Let's take it a bit further and look at the huge Mauer contract:

 

2017: Mauer has 2.3 WAR. WAR is worth $10.5 mill. Mauer is worth $24.15 mill
2016: Mauer has 0.9 WAR. WAR is worth $10.2 mill. Mauer is worth $9.18 mill
2015: Mauer has 0.2 WAR. WAR is worth $9.6 mill. Mauer is worth $1.92 mill
2014: Mauer has 1.6 WAR. WAR is worth $7.7 mill. Mauer is worth $12.32 mill
2013: Mauer has 5.2 WAR. WAR is worth $7.2 mill. Mauer is worth $37.44 mill
2012: Mauer has 4.5 WAR. WAR is worth $6.2 mill. Mauer is worth $27.9 mill
2011: Mauer has 1.2 WAR. WAR is worth $7.4 mill. Mauer is worth $8.88 mill.

 

Thus far Mauer has been worth $121.79 million in all but the final year of a $184 million contract. 

 

He needs a pretty big throwback season to make the whole contract worth it. If WAR is worth $10.5 million this year he'd need a 6.0 WAR season. So far he has 0.6 WAR and is on pace for 8.8 WAR. Let's rewrite this narrative and make that contract worth it!

 

If you were replace Joe Mauer's down years since his concussion with his career average WAR, that would add up to $200 million.  Injuries are part of baseball.Such is the nature of guaranteed MLB contracts.This risk from injury is transferred from the player to the owner.The owner should really insure against the risk of such injury.I am happy that Joe Mauer was able to return from his concussion (unlike Cory Koskie and Justin Morneau).Perhaps one of the learnings here is just how long it takes for the brain to fully recover from a concussion.

 

As the article is about Joe Mauer's future.I hope he remains a productive member of the Twins for his entire career and makes it to the Hall of Fame.I also look forward to the day when advanced sabermetrics can quantify the value of a great defensive first baseman.


#49 Sconnie

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 10:33 AM

I would hate to think he would get penalized due to the fact that he slipped under 50% because he was able to play at a major league level into his mid to late 30's. That should not take away from what he did while he was catcher.

true, but the bar is higher for first basemen. Joe playing catcher is historic. Joe playing first base is excellent, but not HOF. At what point does the scale tip?

#50 bean5302

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 10:49 AM

Like all non-HoF articles about Joe Mauer, they invariably go off topic and seek to argue his HoF likelihood.

 

This topic was, as I understand it, about who Joe Mauer is now, and what he might do for the Twins or another team in baseball next season and beyond. Mauer's distant past (as a catcher) is irrelevant unless some team out there wants Joe back behind the plate and Mauer likes that idea too, both of which seem highly unlikely.

 

Barring significant injury or a terrible season, Joe is going to be in MLB next season. I think that much is almost certain. The question is whether or not it is with the Twins.

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#51 Kelly Vance

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 11:51 AM

You know, I had this idea that Joe ought to sign a blank contract and give the Twins the right to write in the number.  Andre Dawson did that in 1987 with the Cubs and guess who is in the HOF? 

 

But you know, Joe could become known as the greatest team player ever if he said "I've been given a lot by the Twins. I'll play 2019 for free."  Things like that make a man immortal. 

 

It is so rare... that is why it will never happen. Still, my naivete aside,  it would set him apart from everybody


#52 Craig Arko

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 11:54 AM

You know, I had this idea that Joe ought to sign a blank contract and give the Twins the right to write in the number.  Andre Dawson did that in 1987 with the Cubs and guess who is in the HOF? 
 
But you know, Joe could become known as the greatest team player ever if he said "I've been given a lot by the Twins. I'll play 2019 for free."  Things like that make a man immortal. 
 
It is so rare... that is why it will never happen. Still, my naivete aside,  it would set him apart from everybody


He’d likely be sanctioned and sued by the MLBPA for even suggesting such a thing.
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#53 Kelly Vance

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 12:00 PM

MLBPA would have no case, unless this is prohibited by his union membership, which I doubt it is because I doubt it would even remotely have been considered by the union. I think there i s a loophole. . It is a matter of contract between the parties. 

 

He might get beaned his first 100 at bats though 


#54 D. Hocking

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 12:05 PM

 

He might get beaned his first 100 at bats though 

 

That would really help his OBP.

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#55 highlander

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 12:12 PM

Mr Brooks I started this conversation by stating I doubt he makes 3,000 hits. Then said he could get close. Very true close is a relevant term. Being a huge fan of all things Minnesota I'm both a Twins and Mauer fan. Perfect scenario Joe leads the Twins to a World Series Championship. I also believe Joe is far from a part time player. In a lot of ways similar to Mark Grace.

#56 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 12:37 PM

MLBPA would have no case, unless this is prohibited by his union membership, which I doubt it is because I doubt it would even remotely have been considered by the union. I think there i s a loophole. . It is a matter of contract between the parties.

He might get beaned his first 100 at bats though


There is a minimum salary in baseball, so that would not be a legal contract.
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#57 Nine of twelve

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 12:50 PM

As of this moment Mauer is second in the majors in BA, second in the majors in OBP and seventh in the majors in OPS. A player with that kind of offensive production is more than welcome in my lineup no matter what position he plays. And if he's a stellar defender on top of that there is nothing to complain about. A 2-year extension for a player who is obviously still able to play baseball at an elite level should be a no-brainer.

Edited by Nine of twelve, 14 April 2018 - 12:53 PM.

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#58 ken

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 01:22 PM

It's easier to carry a non power Mauer when your second baseman hits 30 homers. If they don't resign Dozier, first is a logical place for a power upgrade. I find it interesting that in the Dozier forum, posters were not willing to give a younger and twice as valuable player more than $15 million a year, but are okay with giving Mauer $10.

#59 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 01:50 PM

It's easier to carry a non power Mauer when your second baseman hits 30 homers. If they don't resign Dozier, first is a logical place for a power upgrade. I find it interesting that in the Dozier forum, posters were not willing to give a younger and twice as valuable player more than $15 million a year, but are okay with giving Mauer $10.


I think most people in that thread were willing to go well beyond $15 million per year for Dozier, they just don't want to go beyond 3 years.
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#60 jorgenswest

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 03:08 PM

Joe Mauer was a catcher through 2013. In every one of those years he had the wear and tear of catching. It is hard to imagine that he is close to matching his plate appearance in seasons since. It can’t even be close.

It would not make sense to split out any DH/PH/1B at bats from his seasons as a catcher but maybe that was what was done. He was still catching a lot of games in those years which would be tough on the body,