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Joe Mauer

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#1 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 08:18 PM

has gotten the ball out of the infield 3 times in 4 games. He has yet to get a ball past an outfielder.

#2 Seth Stohs

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 08:30 PM

I'm not sure what that means? You think he won't all year... or he's just off to a slow start through 4 games... as several others in baseball are?

#3 ChuckkJay

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 09:38 PM

I think UChief means that we've seen nothing from Mauer to suggest he's ever again going to be the player he was that one season. The one that got him the contract. The one that was an aberration from his entire career. I know he won some batting titles - though most people on this site discount batting average as a particularly meaningful stat. There's a reason Ichiro doesn't make $24M. I like Mauer. He was a great story, MN hometown and all that, back when he was great. He's not today. He wasn't last year. He might be again, but that seems less and less likely. I'd say it's much more likely that he never hits a dozen HR again in a season, and might not ever even hit .325 again. I am very fearful for the Twins re: this contract.

#4 Twins Fan From Afar

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 09:45 PM

I bet he'll hit .325 again. And I bet it'll be this year. Yea, the power is mostly gone, or reduced to doubles, but I think it's a little early to write off his 2012.
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#5 Seth Stohs

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 09:51 PM

I don't know if the power is gone, or if it's the affect of Target Field... How many times the last two years has he flown out to the warning track in LF at Target Field (probably a couple dozen)... most of those would have been HR in Metrodome. I don't think the power is gone. The HR are down because of the ball park and the type of hitter he is. If you got into the SethSpeaks.net archives from the day that the Twins and Mauer finalized the 8 year, $184 M extension, I wrote that it would never make sense from a baseball perspective... but that was the position that the Twins were in. If they had let him walk, fans would have whined about that too.

#6 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 09:54 PM

It means I'm disappointed in the way he's started 2012. It means in the litany of things to bitch about regarding games 1-4 of the 2012 season, I include Mauer's name somewhere on the list. It means I found it interesting, in a bad way, to confirm through facts what my eyes have told me...he's managed to hit two, maybe three balls hard in four games. That is all.

#7 MileHighTwinsFan

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 09:59 PM

I love how people are down on Mauer after 4 games. Using the same logic we should be talking about the historic season Josh Willingham is going to have. He's on pace for 162 RBI and 81 homers - watch out Barry Bonds.

#8 twinsnorth49

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 10:16 PM

I like Mauer. He was a great story, MN hometown and all that, back when he was great. He's not today. He wasn't last year. He might be again, but that seems less and less likely. I'd say it's much more likely that he never hits a dozen HR again in a season, and might not ever even hit .325 again. I am very fearful for the Twins re: this contract.[/QUOTE] Well Chuckjay, clearly the only option is to throw yourself off the nearest bridge........or wait longer than 4 games to throw the towel in completely on a former 3 time AL batting champion. Mauer can still bring to this team what few others can once he gets it going, which I believe he will.

#9 Highabove

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 10:19 PM

Sometime during the Season, most Players will go through some type of slump. Everything that happens the first few weeks of a Season is magnified. Let's give him and the other batters some more time.

Edited by Highabove, 09 April 2012 - 10:21 PM.


#10 twinsnorth49

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 10:24 PM

Long-term multi-multi million dollar deals never make sense from a baseball perspective, or an any sport perspective for that matter. They are based on past performance that is rarely ever repeated, especially in the long term. Seth is bang on with the reality though, it's really the fans who drive them, this board would have lit up the Minneapolis night sky if the Twins had let Joe walk at the time the deal was made. The Angels are the darlings of LA for bringing Albert and friends and the Tigers are the toast of the town by ponying up for Prince..... if they don't win the big one, visit the forums in those towns to see if the deals are still worth it in a few years.

#11 jm3319

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 10:28 PM

I don't think he'll ever break 20 homers again. 28 was just an amazing year, and unfortunately for the Twins it was his contract year. I hate how people blame Mauer for the contract. If your boss came in and offered to triple your salary, you'd sign, no questions asked. You wouldn't tell your boss, "no thanks, I don't think i'm worth that much, i'll sign for less so i don't hurt the company." Just because Mauer is now making a ton of money doesn't mean he is going to be as good or better than he was when he signed. It sucks for the Twins, yes, but if anything you should blame management for offering the contract in the first place. But, on the flip side, the Twins have been competitive and better team overall with a far less payroll than they have now, so even if Mauer is taking up too large of a % of the team's payroll, it's no excuse for the rest of the crappy team given that they've raised the payroll considerably over the last few years.

#12 cr9617

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 10:57 PM

Mauer earns 24% of the teams payroll. The term Hometown Discount has been used a lot in this town whenever a high profile athlete has a contract negotiation. Rather than a discount, the Twins paid a Hometown Premium.


This contract will be an anchor to this organization for its duration. Not only is this the worst contract in baseball, it's the worst contract in sports. I doubt they could trade this guy even if they wanted to. Who would take him for the rights to pay that salary? Funny thing is, the PR disaster that was last season, and the way Mauer handled the whole thing and how out to lunch he seemed.....he could never survive in NY, Boston, Philly, Chicago, L.A., or any market other than here. How do you think the Clueless Joe act with the nice smile would go over in NY?? I don't think he ever intended to go anywhere else, and he and his agent got every nickel they could get from the Twins.

Hindsight is 20/20, but his value is worth about half of his current contract.

#13 NorthwestTwinsFan

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 11:18 PM

I absolutely agree with cr9617. Mauer's contract is arguably the worst in the history of professional sports, and it's becoming increasingly difficult seeing the Twins ever winning a championship with him on the roster. You just don't see too many elite teams paying $23 million a year to a first baseman who isn't going to break 10 homers or 90 RBI in a season. And I'm sick of hearing the "Target Field isn't hitter-friendly" excuse. Plenty of players have had success hitting the ball over the fence there, and most of them make a fraction of what Mauer makes.

#14 WJ

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 11:20 PM

The power goes when the legs go. If Mauer's legs are 100%, and he finds the right technique or actually tries to hit for power, he'll hit for power.
"Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Sometimes it rains."

#15 Highabove

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 11:54 PM

Yes, the Fans were adamant about signing Mauer, but no one ever imagined that the Contract would be as huge as it was. The spin was, winning meant everything to Mauer and it was essential that the Twins would retain the ability to to build a Championship Team around him. It caught people by surprise that the Contract amount was so large and resource draining. Some of us were foolish to think that their would be a Home Town discount.

Edited by Highabove, 10 April 2012 - 02:09 AM.


#16 shs_59

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 02:19 AM

I'm 99% with Chuckle Jay here, I felt strongly at the time of the contract it was an overpay due to him just coming off a career year. Did i think 2009 was going to be his career year? NO. But I felt strongly as if it was going to be in his top 2 or 3 season of his career (which looks absolutely true today) Giving a guy a contract RIGHT after they have a HUGE breakout year is always tough for the team, but usually turn out to be decent for both sides. And in Mauer's case its not like he was a schulb before 2009. He was a very good player from 2004-to 2008. Healthy always? No. Productive always? Yes. 28 HR power potential Always? No. I'm a big PRO Mauer guy and think he'll bounce back big if not in 2012, then in 2013 but will he ever be worth 23 Million dollars a season Strictly on the Field again? I think not at this point....but the value he as to this team and Twins territory is invaluable.

As you can probably see I felt he was worth apprx. 20 Million a year (or so) And not 23 Million. But no one can put a price on just how much the Mauer Deal WITH the TWINS means to the state of Minnesota, the fans, and the MLB and baseball as a whole.

Was Ryan Howard worth 25 Million a year? NO

was Joey Votto Deserving of the mega deal he just got? Absolutely Not. (if he wasn't a exclusively 1B , and coming off recent depression issues than maybe)
Top Twins prospects ? 1.Byron Buxton (OF-A+)
2.Miguel Sano (3B-AA) 3.Alex Meyer (SP-AA) 4. Kohl Stewart (SP-RK) 5. Nick Gordon (SS-RK) 6. J.O. Berrios (P-A) 7. Josmil Pinto (C-AAA) 8. Eddie Rosario (2B-AA) 9. L. Thorpe (SP-RK) 10. Travis Harrison (3B-A) 11.Kennys Vargas (1B-A+) 12. Trevor May (SP-AA) 13. Jorge Polanco (2B-A) 14. Max Kepler (OF-A) 15. Miguel Sulbaran (SP-A) Just Missed:P Zach Jones, SS Aderlin Mejia, P Stephen Gonsalves, C Stuart Turner.

#17 one_eyed_jack

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:28 AM

Not only is this the worst contract in baseball, it's the worst contract in sports.

Mauer's contract is arguably the worst in the history of professional sports.


---It's premature and melodramatic to be making such claims. We're 1.025 seasons into an 8-year deal. Mauer has a lot of disappointing baseball to play before you can start mentioning his contract in the same breath as Barry Zito's or Mike Hampton's. And if we're talking all of pro sports, it's hard to compete with the NBA for absurdly bad contracts. (See, e.g. Rashard Lewis and Elton Brand).

#18 StormJH1

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 05:42 AM

---It's premature and melodramatic to be making such claims. We're 1.025 seasons into an 8-year deal. Mauer has a lot of disappointing baseball to play before you can start mentioning his contract in the same breath as Barry Zito's or Mike Hampton's. And if we're talking all of pro sports, it's hard to compete with the NBA for absurdly bad contracts. (See, e.g. Rashard Lewis and Elton Brand).


I think the point is that even the people who thought the contract could be a okay value for the Twins knew that the prime value of that contract would be in his 29-32 year old seasons. Nobody looks at a Josh Willingham or Michael Cuddyer at age 33 and expects them to suddenly take their game to the "next level". People understand that they are on the other side of their prime and will do well to simply maintain their current level of play for a few more years.

Mauer is only a couple of seasons away from that point, yet all we ever hear is how he's going to be better later on. But he's already transitioning away from being a "full-time catcher" (which is the right approach), which means we really should be thinking about him as a first baseman. We're so hard on Mauer because he's our guy, and greatness was expected of him. But compare his career so far to, say, Victor Martinez, and I'm sorry, but V-Mart's career is far superior:

http://www.baseball-...martivi01.shtml

Both have had their share of injury problems, as do many catchers, but when he played, V-Mart was a consistent .300 hitter, but a constant power threat in the middle of the lineup. It isn't about the "legs" or Target Field - Mauer isn't "overswinging". His approach is to put the ball into play making contact at all costs, and that leads to a lot of ground balls and opposite field liners. Which, yes, can lead to a .300 season, but also makes him fairly worthless as a #3 hitter.

Edited by StormJH1, 10 April 2012 - 05:45 AM.


#19 ChuckkJay

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:12 AM

It's not about whining or throwing myself off a bridge. Everybody knew the Twins had to pay him. I didn't say I thought it was a bad contract. I said I am fearful for the Twins re: this contract. Who on this board isn't?? But in fact, I do have an interesting theory/question: Why don't teams just NOT pay their superstars? I honestly don't think it would lead to the doom that everyone says it would have if the Twins had let him walk. What would have happened? Would everyone on this site simply have stopped following the Twins? Stopped going to games? Sure - attendance at the new house would have dropped. Certainly. But how much, and for how long? Longer than the contract is going to hamper them? I seriously doubt it. I think the Cardinals did absolutely the right thing in letting Pujols walk. Ditto for the Brewers. If I were a GM, I like to think that I would've done the same thing. Short term pain when the fans and writers go nuts, but 3 years later they're all still following the team and then you're not saddled with a $24M part time catcher who slaps singles. And I have to say, everyone who is talking about how it's only four games into this season seem to have forgotten 2011.

#20 one_eyed_jack

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:19 AM

I think the point is that even the people who thought the contract could be a okay value for the Twins knew that the prime value of that contract would be in his 29-32 year old seasons.



That may be a valid point, but calling Mauer's contract the "worst in the history of professional sports" seems an odd way to try and make it, doncha think?

I do find all of the Monday Morning Quarterbacking of the decision to pay up for Mauer pretty amusing. When the time for a contract extension arrived, I didn't hear anyone suggest that it if he wanted too much money and/or too many years, we should just let him walk. Virtually all of Twins Territory demanded he be re-signed. And you had to know it was going to be a fat, long deal because that's what he would have gotten had he hit the open market. Had the Twins allowed him to walk away and sign with, say, the Yankees for Red Sox, there would have been a torch-and-pitchfork mob heading down Hennepin Avenue demanding the blood of everyone in the front office.

Also, it was, ironically, precisely the type of move that Twins fans spent years whining about the team NOT making because they were too cheap.

But familiarity breeds contempt, I guess. When the Twins don't spend money, the fan base whines about ownership being unwilling to invest in talent. When the Twins do spend moeny, they whine about guys being overpaid. It's like listening to little old ladies at restaurants who complain that the food is terrible and the portions are too small.

Edited by one_eyed_jack, 10 April 2012 - 06:22 AM.


#21 dave_dw

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:52 AM

I think UChief means that we've seen nothing from Mauer to suggest he's ever again going to be the player he was that one season. The one that got him the contract. The one that was an aberration from his entire career....I'd say it's much more likely that he never hits a dozen HR again in a season, and might not ever even hit .325 again.


It may be surprising to you, but home runs and batting average aren't the only things used to measure a player's value.

Mauer posted a 7.9 WAR that year, the "aberration." He also had seasons of 6.4, 6.1, & 5.5 WAR. According to the Fangraphs explanation of WAR, anything above 6.0 is considered MVP level and anything from 5.0-6.0 is "superstar" level. The only times Mauer's WAR dipped below 5.5 was in his first full season (age 22) and the season where he played 109 games or less.

The Twins didn't pay him for one season, they payed him because he's been the best catcher in baseball when he plays. If you want to argue against his health, go ahead, but don't pretend he's not one of the best catchers in baseball when healthy.

#22 Cap'n Piranha

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:55 AM

If you got into the SethSpeaks.net archives from the day that the Twins and Mauer finalized the 8 year, $184 M extension, I wrote that it would never make sense from a baseball perspective... but that was the position that the Twins were in. If they had let him walk, fans would have whined about that too.


Completely agree. The Joe Mauer contract extension was an absolute perfect storm. A hometown kid, drafted by the team, who was far and away the team's most popular player, and one of the most popular players in team history, playing a premium position, has the best offensive season in the history of baseball for that position, while simultaneously winning a Gold Glove, Batting Title and MVP, exactly one year before his contract expires, and the year before the team opens a publicly-financed stadium that the team claimed was necessary to keep their best players. The Twins had no choice but to sign him, and if you think 23m/year was more than the Twins needed to pay, you're crazy, because the Yankees or Red Sox would have offered more.

It's also worth noting, to whomever appluaded the Cardinals for letting Albert Pujols walk, that before he did, the Cardinals offered him 220m over 10 years, which would be a significantly worse deal at the tail end than Mauer's deal.

#23 woolhouse

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 07:27 AM

Mauer must be aware that every single scouting report on him states: "Will take the first pitch looking 99.9% of the time... will take second pitch 75% of the time..." He needs to, every once in awhile, swing at the first pitch. They are down the heart of the plate without fail. And if he does, maybe he'll start getting some balls thrown to him that first pitch.

#24 TwinsFan01

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:19 AM

Mauer must be aware that every single scouting report on him states: "Will take the first pitch looking 99.9% of the time... will take second pitch 75% of the time..." He needs to, every once in awhile, swing at the first pitch. They are down the heart of the plate without fail. And if he does, maybe he'll start getting some balls thrown to him that first pitch.


This is my problem with Mauer. I love the guy and always have, and I have no problem with his contract because other teams would have paid him even more and I'd rather have him in a Twins uniform than any other.

BUT - he's become too predictable at the plate. Opposing pitchers can't be very afraid of him anymore; its easy for them to get ahead in the count when they know exacatly what he's going to do every time. It's maddening to see him watch those 88mph fastballs down the middle of the plate every single first pitch; not saying he needs to swing at them all...but even once in a while might keep them guessing.

#25 CDog

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:38 AM

He needs to, every once in awhile, swing at the first pitch. They are down the heart of the plate without fail.


I'm sure you took the twelve seconds to look this up, but for the others that haven't... Mauer's first pitch strike % has never in his career NOT been well below league average and it's never been as high as even 56% in a season.

#26 @_2244

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:40 AM

Completely agree. The Joe Mauer contract extension was an absolute perfect storm. A hometown kid, drafted by the team, who was far and away the team's most popular player, and one of the most popular players in team history, playing a premium position, has the best offensive season in the history of baseball for that position, while simultaneously winning a Gold Glove, Batting Title and MVP, exactly one year before his contract expires, and the year before the team opens a publicly-financed stadium that the team claimed was necessary to keep their best players. The Twins had no choice but to sign him, and if you think 23m/year was more than the Twins needed to pay, you're crazy, because the Yankees or Red Sox would have offered more.

It's also worth noting, to whomever appluaded the Cardinals for letting Albert Pujols walk, that before he did, the Cardinals offered him 220m over 10 years, which would be a significantly worse deal at the tail end than Mauer's deal.


This is the definitive answer on the Mauer contract. Well done, Cap.

#27 CDog

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:45 AM

Mauer is only a couple of seasons away from that point, yet all we ever hear is how he's going to be better later on. But he's already transitioning away from being a "full-time catcher" (which is the right approach), which means we really should be thinking about him as a first baseman. We're so hard on Mauer because he's our guy, and greatness was expected of him. But compare his career so far to, say, Victor Martinez, and I'm sorry, but V-Mart's career is far superior:

http://www.baseball-...martivi01.shtml

Both have had their share of injury problems, as do many catchers, but when he played, V-Mart was a consistent .300 hitter, but a constant power threat in the middle of the lineup. It isn't about the "legs" or Target Field - Mauer isn't "overswinging". His approach is to put the ball into play making contact at all costs, and that leads to a lot of ground balls and opposite field liners. Which, yes, can lead to a .300 season, but also makes him fairly worthless as a #3 hitter.


I read a pretty fair amount on the Twins and I don't recall ever once seeing anybody expect or hope for him to improve into his 30's. I'm curious where you're getting "all we ever hear" is that.

As for your baseball reference link to the supposedly "far superior" career, it's laughable. I actually laughed. The very site you reference gives WAR values for Mauer of 1.5 (partial season), 3.4, 7.0 (!!), 4.6, 8.7 (!!!), 7.5 (!!), 5.9, and 1.7 last year in half a season. The "one career year" in a contract season that won him the MVP wasn't even his best one from a WAR perspective! V-Mart's, for comparison, are 0.0 and 0.4 in partial seasons, 4.1, 4.6, 3.3, 5.1, 0.6, 2.5, 1.4, 2.8, and 2.9. It's not even close.

#28 CDog

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:48 AM

[quote name='Cap'n Piranha;8473]It's also worth noting' date=' to whomever appluaded the Cardinals for letting Albert Pujols walk, that before he did, the Cardinals offered him 220m over 10 years, which would be a significantly worse deal at the tail end than Mauer's deal.[/QUOTE']

Not to mention also, a 10+ year contract to a 32-year-old is a little different than an 8-year contract to a 29-year-old.

#29 jeffk

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:11 AM

anything from 5.0-6.0 [WAR] is "superstar" level


I think this is just an indictment of how all "superstar" level players are overpaid. It's like buying anything else: you get the best value in the middle of the price-performance curve. "Superstar" players have ~$25M/yr contracts, which is $5M a win. The free agent market is chock full of 2-3 WAR players for $3-6M. It's just another way of saying there's only so much one guy can do, even if they're a true superstar (and not an arguably struggling one like Mauer). It's never worth it. And while the Yankees of the world might be able to sign such contracts anyways, the Twins can't afford it if they ever expect to win.

#30 Shane Wahl

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:25 AM

Four games. You will undoubtedly find some 4-game stretch in the majority of baseball players' seasons where even the best hitters don't "hit it past an outfielder."