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Edes: Red Sox should trade for Joe Mauer

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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:36 PM

ESPN.com's Gordon Edes urges the Red Sox front office to go all-in on Joe Mauer this offseason as the defining move to improve what has become an increasingly woeful team.

Interestingly enough, rather than sign him as the team's catcher, Edes recommends landing the Minnesota-born Mauer and use him at first base in place of the departed Adrian Gonzalez:

[FONT=Verdana]When the Red Sox go to Nashville on Sunday for baseball's winter meetings, they should vow to return home with [/FONT]Joe Mauer[FONT=Verdana] as their new first baseman. Mike Napoli's visit to Boston last weekend suggests the Sox are considering lesser alternatives, but whatever reservations they have about making a long-term, expensive financial commitment to a player in the aftermath of the [/FONT]Carl Crawford[FONT=Verdana] and [/FONT]Adrian Gonzalez[FONT=Verdana] signings, here's my suggestion: Get over it.[/FONT]


Edes then prattles off some statistics that we all have come to know, love and embrace while not for one minute consider booing the owner of the following metrics:

[FONT=Verdana]Mauer has much greater value, of course, as a catcher, where offensive numbers like his are rarely found. But his performance plays at any position: His .323 career batting average is second among active players (minimum 1,000 plate appearances), just two percentage points behind Albert Pujols' .325.[/FONT][FONT=Verdana]He is fifth in on-base percentage (.405), and fifth in strikeouts-to-walks rate (.856). He led the American League with a .416 on-base percentage in 2012, and ranked 10th among all hitters in Bill James' Win Shares, with 25. The one knock on him is his lack of power; he hit 28 home runs in 2009, one of only two seasons in which he had a slugging percentage over .500.[/FONT]

[FONT=Verdana]
Much like fantasizing what you will do with the Powerball winnings**, mulling over what sort of return you would get from Boston in this sort of deal would be fun but [probably] fruitless, cause it ain't going to happen. But what the hell? What do you think, how would a Mauer-less Twins look for the foreseeable future and what sort of packages from the Sox would you consider to let him go?

(**Just so you know, if any of you do win the Powerball, the fine print when you registered for TwinsDaily.com says that you owe 65% of that to John, Nick, Seth and myself).[/FONT]

"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"


#2 mike wants wins

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:13 PM

He would be awesome in that park. Just awesome. If you could promise they would sign two good pitchers with his departed salary, and get 1 great minor leaguer and one legit MLB starting fielder, would you do it? Four players for 1?

#3 ThePuck

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:16 PM

He would be awesome in that park. Just awesome. If you could promise they would sign two good pitchers with his departed salary, and get 1 great minor leaguer and one legit MLB starting fielder, would you do it? Four players for 1?


After considering how much revenue he brings into the team (tickets sales...and all the revenue taken in due to the people spending once they are at the park), how much of his 23M a year do you think we'd actually have left? And then we still have to replace him.

#4 Seth Stohs

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:17 PM

He would be awesome in that park. Just awesome. If you could promise they would sign two good pitchers with his departed salary, and get 1 great minor leaguer and one legit MLB starting fielder, would you do it? Four players for 1?


The Twins would have to get FOUR legit prospects for Mauer or three prospects and an MLB starter. Then, you could get Anibal Sanchez ($15 million) and another $8 million a year starter for the dollars. Or, you could get Edwin Jackson ($12 million) and another $11 million pitcher (or two $5.5 million pitchers).

#5 ThePuck

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:19 PM

He would be awesome in that park. Just awesome. If you could promise they would sign two good pitchers with his departed salary, and get 1 great minor leaguer and one legit MLB starting fielder, would you do it? Four players for 1?


The Twins would have to get FOUR legit prospects for Mauer or three prospects and an MLB starter. Then, you could get Anibal Sanchez ($15 million) and another $8 million a year starter for the dollars. Or, you could get Edwin Jackson ($12 million) and another $11 million pitcher (or two $5.5 million pitchers).


Well, that's his 23M...but I doubt that's what we'd actually end up netting if he wasn't with the team...

#6 Jim Crikket

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:26 PM

Actually, I wrote about this back in mid-October when Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe suggested the Red Sox target Mauer.

The Twins should require the Red Sox to take ALL of Mauer's contract AND cough up several pretty decent prospects, as well. I threw out names like Allen Webster, Matt Barnes, Garin Cecchini, Henry Owens and, of course, Xander Bogaerts as possible players the Twins should try to get.

I mentioned that Mauer's no-trade clause might be an obstacle, but perhaps given the fact that the Red Sox also train in Mauer's off-season home of Ft. Myers and that the Twins are certainly not as close to being competitive as Mauer hoped they would be when he signed his contract, he might be more inclined to approve a trade to Boston than one might otherwise assume. Of course, Boston would likely have to compensate him handsomely for waiving that contractual right.
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#7 notoriousgod71

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:29 PM

He would be awesome in that park. Just awesome. If you could promise they would sign two good pitchers with his departed salary, and get 1 great minor leaguer and one legit MLB starting fielder, would you do it? Four players for 1?


Gomez, Guerra, Mulvey, and Humber sounds about right.

#8 Jim Crikket

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:35 PM

Glancing at Edes's column, I see at least two things that I would question in terms of his logic:

"He will be 30 years old in April, still in the prime of his career, and almost certainly receptive to making a position change from catcher to first base, to save on the physical pounding he has absorbed in nine seasons in the big leagues." - Edes clearly hasn't been listening when Mauer has answered questions about his willingness to change positions. He still sees himself as a catcher and I doubt he'd be anxious to waive his no-trade clause to go to a team that intends to make him their full-time 1B.

"Depending on how much of the contract they're willing to pick up, the Sox should be able to hang on to their very best prospects in a deal for Mauer." - To heck with that. It's not like the Twins NEED to let Mauer go. It only makes sense if the Red Sox make Ryan an offer he can't refuse. Ryan won't (and shouldn't) just fall on his knees and thank the Red Sox for taking Mauer's salary off his hands without some very, very good players heading back in the direction of Minnesota.
I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at Knuckleballsblog.com while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for MetroSportsReport.com.

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#9 AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:35 PM

He would be awesome in that park. Just awesome. If you could promise they would sign two good pitchers with his departed salary, and get 1 great minor leaguer and one legit MLB starting fielder, would you do it? Four players for 1?


Gomez, Guerra, Mulvey, and Humber sounds about right.


Thanks NOTORIOUS, you just made my day!

#10 benchwarmerjim

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:44 PM

Glancing at Edes's column, I see at least two things that I would question in terms of his logic:

"He will be 30 years old in April, still in the prime of his career, and almost certainly receptive to making a position change from catcher to first base, to save on the physical pounding he has absorbed in nine seasons in the big leagues." - Edes clearly hasn't been listening when Mauer has answered questions about his willingness to change positions. He still sees himself as a catcher and I doubt he'd be anxious to waive his no-trade clause to go to a team that intends to make him their full-time 1B.


He lost me when he was throwing out 'oh yeah, Mauer would be fine with a permanent move to 1B.' when Mauer has said over and over he wants to be a catcher.
Just another article about an East Coast team needing to make a big move in the offseason.

#11 mike wants wins

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:53 PM

Why would you need to get 4 legit prospects, Seth? Isn't one sure fire legit MLB player and one great prospect, and freedom from $23MM a good return? You state it like a fact, but I'll ask differently, is the team better if they have a bad catcher, but a legit SS or 2B, and a great prospect, and two starting pitchers, than just having Mauer?

As for revenue, this team will make a lot more money with a winning team than it will with Mauer and 90 losses. The shine is off the new stadium, the shine is off Mauer as a reason to go to the park for the average non-serious fan. They need to win.

Note, I clearly did NOT say 4 prospects, I'd want one legit MLB player and one great prospect, and then for them to buy 2 legit FAs. And, if one of those does not work out, it's a lower risk than keeping Mauer for 5+more years.

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :) Also, I am NOT trying to convince anyone I am correct, I'm just talking here, not arguing.


#12 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:11 PM

He would be awesome in that park. Just awesome. If you could promise they would sign two good pitchers with his departed salary, and get 1 great minor leaguer and one legit MLB starting fielder, would you do it? Four players for 1?


Gomez, Guerra, Mulvey, and Humber sounds about right.


Notorious just won the thread.

#13 edavis0308

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:50 PM

Just another mega market fluff piece thinking they can trade inferior pieces for superior talent because they are a bigger market. Yawn.

#14 ThePuck

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:06 PM

As for revenue, this team will make a lot more money with a winning team than it will with Mauer and 90 losses. The shine is off the new stadium, the shine is off Mauer as a reason to go to the park for the average non-serious fan. They need to win.


You really think that if the Twins traded the current face of the franchise, who is their best player and a local boy done good, it won't affect revenue intake? Especially when the fans were told the Twins needed the new ballpark to avoid having to trade their best players or let them go...with him being the prime example?

#15 mike wants wins

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:24 PM

Correct, I think if they win 90+ games, without Mauer, they will make more money than if they lose 90+ games with Mauer. I am about 95% certain I am correct on that. But again, I was quite clear, they would not get that benefit of the doubt unless they used the freed up money to sign 2 legit starting pitchers (or SS or 2B or whatever). If they pocket it, not good. I made that very clear in my post.

Fans will forgive losing Mauer if they win, but they are less and less likely to forgive them for being the worst team in the majors with Mauer.

As for everyone posting this will never happen, and it is an east coast writer being a whatever, sure....but that's a boring post, imo. Much more interesting is discussing what you would or would not require if it were possible.

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :) Also, I am NOT trying to convince anyone I am correct, I'm just talking here, not arguing.


#16 Brad Swanson

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:32 PM

He would be awesome in that park. Just awesome. If you could promise they would sign two good pitchers with his departed salary, and get 1 great minor leaguer and one legit MLB starting fielder, would you do it? Four players for 1?


The Twins would have to get FOUR legit prospects for Mauer or three prospects and an MLB starter. Then, you could get Anibal Sanchez ($15 million) and another $8 million a year starter for the dollars. Or, you could get Edwin Jackson ($12 million) and another $11 million pitcher (or two $5.5 million pitchers).


Normally, I'd agree that 4 good prospects and more would be mandatory in a Mauer trade. Normally, I hate making up fake trades.

BUT...

I love the Red Sox farm system. Xander Bogaerts, Matt Barnes, Rubby de la Rosa and Blake Swihart. The Twins would consider that. Two young power arms, a future corner power bat (who Jason Parks stated on Twitter earlier today has 70 power/70 hit potential) and a potential starting catcher down the road.

It would never happen. Both teams' fans would lose their collective minds. BUT, this makes this thread more fun.

Edited by Brad Swanson, 27 November 2012 - 09:33 PM.
To make the post actually make sense.


#17 ThePuck

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:43 PM

Correct, I think if they win 90+ games, without Mauer, they will make more money than if they lose 90+ games with Mauer. I am about 95% certain I am correct on that. But again, I was quite clear, they would not get that benefit of the doubt unless they used the freed up money to sign 2 legit starting pitchers (or SS or 2B or whatever). If they pocket it, not good. I made that very clear in my post.

Fans will forgive losing Mauer if they win, but they are less and less likely to forgive them for being the worst team in the majors with Mauer.

As for everyone posting this will never happen, and it is an east coast writer being a whatever, sure....but that's a boring post, imo. Much more interesting is discussing what you would or would not require if it were possible.


So the assumption is if he got traded we'd automatically, right away, be better and winning 90+ games...even though, we still have to replace our best player and we'd have to nail that trade...like every player...and have them all ready to go right away...and that STILL might not do it. okay.

In any event, I think people under-estimate the draw he is for this team...

Edited by ThePuck, 27 November 2012 - 09:45 PM.


#18 Willihammer

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:35 AM

Mauer is appealing because you can pencil him in for a fixed cost and fixed production. How great would it be if the Twins had someone like that at SS?

You can't pencil Mauer in for fixed playing time, but I think last season did a lot to alleviate those fears. He is only a little overpaid at the moment, but I suspect his decline will keep pace with the rate of salary inflation such that on balance he is paid at pretty much a fair market value all the way through to the end, with a possibility that he delivers surplus value by taking up 1B full time and playing in a park like Fenway, and is able to get 150+ games in every year.

I can definitely see the appeal, and part of me wants to make make a deal just so Mauer can move out from the dish full time and extend his career.

#19 StormJH1

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 12:33 PM

I looked it up, and Mauer has somehow only played 16 games at Fenway, with a .283 BA, yet 3 HR's in only 70 AB's. That would seem to be slightly ahead of his "usual" power pace, and none of his Fenway AB's came in his "outlier" 2009 season.

But, yeah, that article is severely flawed. First, I totally reject the premise that Mauer is in the "prime" of his career. There's a good chance Mauer will have many productive years ahead of him, but when you've pretty much already begun to transition out of your primary position (and were defensively terrible at it when you did play there), that HAS to be figured in. Mauer as a 30-year old part-time catcher is more akin to Torii when he started to move from CF to RF at age 33, 34, or whenever it was.

But also, it just strikes me as supremely ironic that they would give up anything too significant to play Mauer at 1B, when it seems like the BEST CASE scenario for Mauer would be the type of hitter that Adrian Gonzalez "disappointed" Boston fans with. It was assumed that Adrian would hit 40+ HR's per year in that park given his track record, but nagging injuries and a change in approach led him to become more of an average hitter. Productive, but not dominant. Does that sound like any player we know here in Minnesota?

#20 Willihammer

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:43 PM

Its also interesting that Bill James, of Bill James projections, who is projecting Mauer to hit 317/407/452 next year, is a "senior advisor on baseball operations" for the Red Sox. Maybe he is sandbagging Mauer's 2013 projection so that the Twins FO will see that and expect less return in any trade negotiations?

Bad joke, I apologize.