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What are the odds that Joe Mauer will look to continue his career after his contract finally expires after 2018?

 

The reason I ask because the other night they showed that Kirby Puckett is the all time Twins hit leader with 2304 & currently Mauer is 383 behind. With Mauer never having a 200 hit season ever he would almost have to play through 2020 to pass Puckett.

 

I can't see the new FO wanting to even think about keeping him around even at a huge discount after 2018.

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Not sure I get the hate for Sano at 3B. He's been very good over there. No need to move him anytime soon. This is coming from someone who saw him in A ball and thought he would never make it as a 3B.

1.) The Twins have a real organizational dearth of MLB ready DH/1B types. Vargas, Palka and Byung Ho all don't seem to be in the long-term plans of the Twins at this point. Vargas seems the most likel

I have little doubt that if Joe Mauer wants to keep playing in 2019, he will be with the Twins. And Twins fans should want that and applaud that.   Obviously they won't sign him to an extension. He's

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.

Vargas will be out of options next year. If Falvine valued what Vargas could provide over what Grossman provides as a DH, the Twins wouldn't keep sending him down.

 

Point being, the decision on Vargas will be made before Mauer's contract is up.

Edited by yarnivek1972
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Mauer is a league average hitter who plays pretty good defense at first base. If they find a league average hitter who plays pretty good defense at third base, they have a more valuable player, and players who fit the bill at less cost than Mauer should be available. David Freese signed for $3M last year. Sano would move to first. The Twins have 18 months to find this cheaper, better player.

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Mauer is a league average hitter who plays pretty good defense at first base. If they find a league average hitter who plays pretty good defense at third base, they have a more valuable player, and players who fit the bill at less cost than Mauer should be available. David Freese signed for $3M last year. Sano would move to first. The Twins have 18 months to find this cheaper, better player.

They had that guy. They let him go. Remember?

 

He's doing terrible this year, but he's almost exactly a league average hitter for his career.

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A bit of power is expected at first base. Mauer has 5 home runs. The next closest player at the position has 13.

 

He will be 35 when his contract runs out. That's a good age to retire, especially for a player whose performance would have fallen off a cliff 5 years earlier.

Edited by Doomtints
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They had that guy. They let him go. Remember?

He's doing terrible this year, but he's almost exactly a league average hitter for his career.

I'm not sure of your point. A decision in 2017 to release one player who was getting expensive but on the downside and who was blocking a better player without another available position has nothing to do with putting a team together for 2019.

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switching Mauer and Sano might normalize some positional numbers, but it will change absolutely nothing on the Twins.

 

I'm fine with Mauer in a more reduced role. I'm a bit surprised he hasn't played any 3rd, as the main difference between the two is the need for a decent arm (which Mauer has). That flexibility would be nice, especially if the Twins had a better bat they could stick at first..

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They had that guy. They let him go. Remember?

He's doing terrible this year, but he's almost exactly a league average hitter for his career.

they didn't "let him go", he was traded for Mejia. the other Eduard is having a repectable/good season at .817 OPS in a similar role to the Eduardo who didn't get away as a utility player who plays most every day. 

 

 

 

Oh, you meant Trevor Plouffe...

 

28.9% k rate, .608 OPS, -3.6 UZR/150 at 3rd base

 

I'd take Joe Mauer over Plouffe

 

13.3% K rate, .745 OPS 10.8 UZR/150

 

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1.) The Twins have a real organizational dearth of MLB ready DH/1B types. Vargas, Palka and Byung Ho all don't seem to be in the long-term plans of the Twins at this point. Vargas seems the most likely but if this front office had any faith in Vargas, he'd have been on the team more consistently this year. Sano seems entrenched at 3B and Kepler isn't coming in from the OF. Robbie Grossman is a DH/OF but not a guy you hand the DH every day. After that, the only top 30 prospect at the position is Lewin Diaz and he's in low A ball. He's having a nice enough season but he's 3 years away if everything goes well. There's a lot of room at 1B/DH is my point - even if Vargas takes off he would likely DH. There's no internal option at 1B better than Joe.

 

2.) That means the Twins 1B in 2019 is likely to either be Mauer or come from outside the organization. I don't see the Twins spending big money in free agency (esp if they start locking down their young core) so the question becomes "Can you find someone better than Mauer when shopping at relative bargain prices?" I find that hard to believe, especially when you consider that Mauer still puts butts in seats in a way the James Loney types never could. Assuming Mauer is willing to take $5-$6 million a year for 2 years (I can't see him having much leverage, the only other place that makes sense for him is Tampa since he lives in FL?) he makes a lot of sense.

 

3.) The question then becomes, is Mauer good enough to be on the team? As others have pointed out, he’s not a prototypical first baseman, Not a lot of power. That said, he does bring things to the table. He’s become an elite defensive first baseman, particularly useful since the Twins have some subpar defensive options on the left side of the IF. His OBP is 40 points higher than average in total and eighty points higher against RHP. That’s a stat the Twins are short on. 1B isn’t where you usually get it but baseball isn’t a paint by numbers game. Mauer is definitely still a major leaguer.

 

4.) Mauer for the Twins in 2019 becomes more doable if you start thinking about a strict platoon. The Twins can either use Sano at 1B against lefties and put a better defender at 3B (they will likely have a surplus of SS at that point in time) or find the weak side of a platoon in free agency relatively cheaply (a Danny Valencia type who mashes left handed pitching isn’t going to cost more than $4 million). Either way, that gives you really nice 1B production for a fraction of the cost of a free agent stud.

 

5.) To me, the interesting part of the Mauer thing is going to be whether he wants to keep playing. He doesn't strike me as a guy who wants to chase records so that won't motivate him. He will have two daughters who are 4 years old so that will potentially pull him towards retirement. At the same time, he sat through a lot of bad Twins baseball and has to want to taste the upswing. He's never been a rah-rah leader so he'll be fine letting younger guys take the leading roles (has Joe Mauer ever wanted to do a postgame interview?). He seems to love the game and his body language playing is never down.

 

To answer the original question, assuming that Mauer wants to keep playing at the end of 2018, I put the odds of him being back with the Twins at 90%. He makes too much sense as part of a platoon for a 1B position that the Twins don't have a lot of other options for. He's not getting in the way of anyone's development, there's a ton of room at 1B/DH even if someone unforeseen comes into the organization, he's a big part of Twins history and his brother may be managing by 2019. There's no reason to think Mauer won't be a part of the team in 2019.

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1.) The Twins have a real organizational dearth of MLB ready DH/1B types. 

Brent Rooker. He's already in A+ and holding his own with a ~.750 OPS. In 12 months, we'll have a much better idea what to do with Joe Mauer and his expiring contract. There's a decent chance Rooker is in Chattanooga by mid-2018 and his performance there could dictate how the Twins move forward.

 

Maybe Rooker isn't ready so the Twins retain Mauer. Maybe they find a stop-gap first baseman. Or maybe Rooker gets the call on Opening Day 2019. Lots to time to punt on this decision.

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they didn't "let him go", he was traded for Mejia. the other Eduard is having a repectable/good season at .817 OPS in a similar role to the Eduardo who didn't get away as a utility player who plays most every day. 

 

 

 

Oh, you meant Trevor Plouffe...

 

28.9% k rate, .608 OPS, -3.6 UZR/150 at 3rd base

 

I'd take Joe Mauer over Plouffe

 

13.3% K rate, .745 OPS 10.8 UZR/150

At first, I thought he meant Valencia.

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Brent Rooker. He's already in A+ and holding his own with a ~.750 OPS. In 12 months, we'll have a much better idea what to do with Joe Mauer and his expiring contract. There's a decent chance Rooker is in Chattanooga by mid-2018 and his performance there could dictate how the Twins move forward.

 

Maybe Rooker isn't ready so the Twins retain Mauer. Maybe they find a stop-gap first baseman. Or maybe Rooker gets the call on Opening Day 2019. Lots to time to punt on this decision.

 

I thought about that but (a) Rooker has mostly played OF for the Twins thus far. Maybe that changes, others likely know better than I but the Twins seem to be looking at him as a corner OF. (b.) Rooker is right handed. He might be a nice half of the platoon early in his career while getting some time as a 5th OF and part-time DH. 

 

Not sure that Rooker means you can't have Mauer unless he really takes off (.750 OPS isn't that) and needs to play every day. And even then there's DH/OF.

Edited by ThejacKmp
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Not sure I get the hate for Sano at 3B. He's been very good over there. No need to move him anytime soon. This is coming from someone who saw him in A ball and thought he would never make it as a 3B.

 

So much more valuable at 3B. And you can always DH/1B him 40 games a year for defensive purposes. He's certainly a 120 game 3B for the next 3-5 years.

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Yes, I don't see him playing anywhere else if a deal does not get made.  I saw a post that somewhere implied he really did not care (the no heart argument), but I think it means a lot to him to be a Twin, and while he might not be doing what some people want him to be doing, I think his heart is still in the game and with the team.  He seems to enjoy being on the field.

 

If he does continue, it will be even more part time, so I don't think he will necessarily be blocking any talent, and it won't be a huge financial burden with whatever the new contract price will be.  While he is not the vocal leader that people want, I suspect he is still a pretty good example in the locker room (I am a homer that maybe foolishly gives him the benefit of the doubt of having a good work ethic, gets along with teammates etc) .  

 

I suspect he will be around one or two more years.  That said, it would not shock me if next year  was it due to a combination a deal not working out, his body telling him it is time to quit (who knows how his legs, knees, back etc. really are due to the years of catching), or his daughters reaching the age where he wants to see more of their activities.

Edited by D. Hocking
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