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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Joe Mauer placed on trade waivers, Boston unlikely to claim him

So with that disclaimer, the Twins have put Joe Mauer on trade waivers, Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reports.

Mauer, 29, has roughly $142.5 left on his contract, which is a healthy bit of change. It would take a team with a lot of payroll flexibility to take on the Minnesota catcher. Know any team that may have cleared say, $260 million or so, recently?

Rosenthal cites a source “with knowledge of the club’s thinking” as saying Boston is “unlikely” to take on Mauer’s contract.

If you haven’t noticed—and it’s possible because the Twins have been so bad—Mauer is having another good season for the Twins, even if it appears he’ll never put up the power numbers that he did in his MVP year of 2009. Mauer’s hitting .309/.403/.425 with eight home runs this season and if he went to Boston, he could serve in the Victor Martinez role as a DH, first baseman and sometimes catcher.

Thanks to HLB.

Repoz Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:16 AM | 147 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: twins

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   1. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:20 AM (#4220987)
What about the Yankees? He could catch half time and DH the other. He'd be a huge upgrade at both spots for them. Plus his hair is flake free which is what Derek Jeter needs in a wingman.
   2. Gamingboy Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:21 AM (#4220988)
He won't get traded because the Twins aren't suicidal enough to let their one marketable player go away. Also, 99% of the time these trade waiver things are just standard just-in-case things. He may not be the sacred cow anymore since he doesn't hit for power and is now "merely" an average guy, but I don't see the Twins sending him anywhere, especially with an All-Star Game coming up in 2014, in which they'd no doubt want a certain hometown boy to be the symbol.
   3. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:23 AM (#4220990)
He won't get traded because the Twins aren't suicidal enough to let their one marketable player go away. Also, 99% of the time these trade waiver things are just standard just-in-case things.

But I thought it was his fault the Twins are terrible. They would do well to cut out the cancer...
   4. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4220994)
I can't imagine a small market team like the Red Sox taking on that sort of financial obligation.
   5. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:32 AM (#4221001)
They should at least try.
   6. Lassus Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4221005)
Your move, Alderson!
   7. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:35 AM (#4221008)
Your move, Alderson!

You just triggered Fred Wilpon's angina. What a jerk you are!
   8. BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:36 AM (#4221009)
I hope he enjoys Los Angeles, where Ned Colleti has the enter key stuck on the keyboard he look at the waiver wire with or something
   9. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:38 AM (#4221013)
Wouldn't Mauer at C be a great thing for just about any team except the Giants, Cardinals and Orioles?
   10. McCoy Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4221017)
Wouldn't Mauer at C be a great thing for just about any team except the Giants, Cardinals and Orioles?

How many 30 year old catchers with 142 million owed are great things?
   11. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4221020)
Johan Santana is available.
   12. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4221027)
He actually makes a fair amount of sense for the Orioles as a 1b. They have a hole there and some payroll flexibility. But that's a huge risk given his health, and he loses a lot of value at 1b of course.
   13. SteveF Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:48 AM (#4221030)
Even at first base he's probably a $15-$18 million player at his current level of production if he can actually play ~150 games a year. The contract is just too damn long.
   14. DL from MN Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4221037)
Mauer has a full no-trade clause and he doesn't want to leave.
   15. bunyon Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4221038)
Right, it's too long a contract and he's less valuable if not a full time catcher.

But the Red Sox cleared a bunch of payrolls and need some better players. Who will they sign? There will be plausible reasons not to sign anyone to a big contract but if you always give into those reasons, you'll never have a long run of success.
   16. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4221041)
this contract went south fast, comparing the present thread to this thread.
   17. Lassus Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:59 AM (#4221044)
Mauer has a full no-trade clause and he doesn't want to leave.

Your facts are not relevant!
   18. formerly dp Posted: August 29, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4221045)
Your move, Alderson!


How badly do you want Wright gone? Besides, we have a catcher who can hit home runs now (as of last night), so I think we're all set there.

And Davis, though his overall numbers just can't rebound from how terrible he was in April/May/early June. From June 9 on, he has been one of the league's most productive 1B.
   19. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 29, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4221046)
this contract went south fast, comparing the present thread to this thread.


As usual, Ray was the voice of reason.
   20. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 29, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4221052)
Its a shame about the whole new leaner Yankees b/c boy would he be a good fit in NY.
   21. Nasty Nate Posted: August 29, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4221055)
His contract is not so bad. And 29 is not old. If he were a free agent this offseason, he probably wouldn't do much worse than the 6/$138m he will have left.
   22. Gamingboy Posted: August 29, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4221059)
The thing with the Mauer contract is perception. When he signed it, it was hoped he'd continue to hit for power and be a perennial MVP candidate. Instead, he's regressed back to being a hit-for-average and get-on-base guy who is a perennial All-Star, but not a perennial MVP candidate.
   23. Lassus Posted: August 29, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4221073)
How badly do you want Wright gone? Besides, we have a catcher who can hit home runs now (as of last night), so I think we're all set there.

Oh, mine was more of a jokey meme thing, I don't really see Mauer as much of an option or benefit to us, he's made for the DL.

That being said, Shoppach is not a HR hitter, please don't even start with that.
   24. dave h Posted: August 29, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4221076)
Are there any current contracts, not buying out arbitration years, that we think are good deals? The fact that just about every superstar contract is claimed to be negative value makes me think maybe we don't value these contracts properly.
   25. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4221078)
Mauer’s hitting .309/.403/.425 with eight home runs this season and if he went to Boston, he could serve in the Victor Martinez role as a DH, first baseman and sometimes catcher.


I love Mauer as a player, but the Victor Martinez role is not worth $23 mil per. The contract looked like an overpay at the time, and looks like one even moreso now. He has only caught 114 games over the past two years.


   26. SteveF Posted: August 29, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4221085)
The fact that just about every superstar contract is claimed to be negative value makes me think maybe we don't value these contracts properly.


Winner's curse.
   27. Nasty Nate Posted: August 29, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4221086)
Are there any current contracts, not buying out arbitration years, that we think are good deals?


Maybe: A-Gon, Holliday, Miguel Cabrera, Halladay, Konerko, David Ortiz, CJ Wilson....
   28. formerly dp Posted: August 29, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4221087)
That being said, Shoppach is not a HR hitter, please don't even start with that.


2 already for the Mets-- double Thole's output in 280 less ABs. My standards for "power-hitting catcher" have been recalibrated after a couple of seasons watching Josh Thole.

   29. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4221089)
We're in year 2 of an 8 year deal and he is basically the player you hoped to not be getting until the back end of the deal: a part-time catcher, 1B, DH with durability issues who still hits pretty well.

You hoped to be getting that kind of a player in year 6 or 7 of the deal, after getting several top catcher years out of him.
   30. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: August 29, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4221092)
Are there any current contracts, not buying out arbitration years, that we think are good deals? The fact that just about every superstar contract is claimed to be negative value makes me think maybe we don't value these contracts properly.

Boston just sent one out, that was thought to be an asset, you know the one they used to dump the other 2.

Other than that, off the top of my head, without doing too much fact checking:
Miguel Cabrera
CC Sabathia
Matt Kemp
Tulo
Jeter
Holliday
Halladay
Torii Hunter
Weaver
Matt Cain

Edit: stale coke
   31. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 29, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4221093)
I love Mauer as a player, but the Victor Martinez role is not worth $23 mil per. The contract looked like an overpay at the time, and looks like one even moreso now. He has only caught 114 games over the past two years.

OTOH, catcher is the one position where what I like to think of as "positional leverage" really counts. I.e., you can use Mauer as a DH in a lot of AL games, but you can use him at C in interleague and, most importantly, in the playoffs (in order to get a bat in at DH). If Mauer is twice as valuable on a per-game basis at C compared to at DH, you can use that value in higher leverage situations.
   32. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 29, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4221095)
brewer fans are feeling pretty ok about the braun contract
   33. Dan Posted: August 29, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4221105)
That being said, Shoppach is not a HR hitter, please don't even start with that.


Hitting home runs is like the one offensive skill Shoppach has.
   34. jmurph Posted: August 29, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4221113)
The fact that just about every superstar contract is claimed to be negative value makes me think maybe we don't value these contracts properly.


There's a decent case to be made that all of the recent 1B/DH megadeals will turn out to be bad or very bad*: Prince, Tex, AGon, Pujols (who am I forgetting?). It might be that "we" are valuing these contracts perfectly well, and that these guys are on bad deals (for the clubs).

*I'm obviously jumping the gun; I'm saying there's a strong chance they'll turn out that way, but we need a few years to know for sure.
   35. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: August 29, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4221115)
Prince, Tex, AGon, Pujols (who am I forgetting?).

Cabrera, Votto, Howard.
   36. karlmagnus Posted: August 29, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4221118)
He's a year younger than A-Gon, almost as good a hitter and a catcher. Go for it, Sox! We can trade Salty, dump Fatso and split catcher, DH and 1B between Mauer and Lavarnway.
   37. dave h Posted: August 29, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4221121)
Boston just sent one out, that was thought to be an asset, you know the one they used to dump the other 2.


MCoA's analysis said that there was negative value in his contract. Most people described his contract as "fair", though it's unclear exactly what everyone meant (and they likely all meant something different.

Didn't most of those contracts include buying out arb years? Which means you basically can only get this player if you develop him, maybe if you trade for him towards the end of his arb years. A few names on that list were just free agents, but it seems like the minority of big free agent deals.

I know when fangraphs calculated the marginal cost of a win, they saw that the cost was linear (a 6-win player cost twice as much per year as a 3-win player). They also noted that the 6-win player gets a longer contract, and presumably that's where the non-linearity was. Did they follow that up?
   38. Nasty Nate Posted: August 29, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4221128)
He's a year younger than A-Gon, almost as good a hitter and a catcher. Go for it, Sox! We can trade Salty, dump Fatso and split catcher, DH and 1B between Mauer and Lavarnway.


But they can't afford him because the Sox will be forced to have a small payroll because of John Henry's hedge fund like they have for the past 8 years.
   39. karlmagnus Posted: August 29, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4221129)
Mauer is such a good idea that if they don't do it it will prove my point about Henry's hedge fund.

Think about the two deals combined: they would have upgraded A-Gon slightly to Mauer, dumped the Beckett and Crawford contracts and got a bunch of decent prospects. Now THAT would be good management.

Which is why they won't do it. Duquette would have.
   40. Nasty Nate Posted: August 29, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4221138)
Mauer is such a good idea that if they don't do it it will prove my point about Henry's hedge fund.


Ha Ha. What did the Sox' payrolls in each of the last 7 years prove about your 'point,' which you have been making annually since 2005?
   41. Tripon Posted: August 29, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4221139)
You know, Dan Duquette is back in the league, so he'll have a chance to do it.

Also, you guys joke about the Dodgers, but I wouldn't be surprised if they put in a claim.
   42. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4221140)
From Cots. The ten most lucrative contracts in baseball history, including my back of the envelope assessment of whether the deals were wins or losses, followed by some of the more disastrous ones (IMO) of my choosing (AGonzalez notwithstanding). I have always loved that ARod shows up twice:

loss? 1. Alex Rodriguez, $275,000,000 (2008-17)
win 2. Alex Rodriguez, $252,000,000 (2001-10)
? 3. Albert Pujols, $240,000,000 (2012-21)
? 4. Joey Votto, $225,000,000 (2014-23)
? 5. Prince Fielder, $214,000,000 (2012-20)
win 6. Derek Jeter, $189,000,000 (2001-10)
loss? 7. Joe Mauer, $184,000,000 (2011-18)
loss? 8. Mark Teixeira, $180,000,000 (2009-16)
win? 9. CC Sabathia, $161,000,000 (2009-15)
win 10. Manny Ramirez, $160,000,000 (2001-08)
----
13. Adrian Gonzalez, $154,000,000 (2012-18)
16. Carl Crawford, $142,000,000 (2011-17)
17. Todd Helton, $141,500,000 (2003-11)
19. Alfonso Soriano, $136,000,000 (2007-14)
21. Vernon Wells, $126,000,000 (2008-14)
. . . Barry Zito, $126,000,000 (2007-13)
. . . Jayson Werth, $126,000,000 (2011-17)
24. Ryan Howard, $125,000,000 (2012-16)
26. Mike Hampton, $121,000,000 (2001-08)
31. Ken Griffey Jr., $116,500,000 (2000-08)
. . . Carlos Lee, $100,000,000 (2007-12)
37. Carlos Zambrano, $91,500,000 (2008-12)
   43. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 29, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4221142)
Mauer is such a good idea that if they don't do it it will prove my point about Henry's hedge fund.

Naw, I keep telling you people, Liverpool needs a striker!
   44. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: August 29, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4221143)
John Henry's yacht was parked by the Boston Harbor Hotel this weekend. It's still really big and shiny. He still owns Liverpool. His hedge funds aren't killing him just yet.

I can't believe more people don't have KM on ignore.
   45. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4221148)
Griffey produced just 12 WAR (19 oWAR) during the life of that deal.
   46. puck Posted: August 29, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4221150)
If the Rockies missed Todd Helton, the combo of his decline phase and contract, Mauer would be the perfect replacement at 1B.

   47. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4221160)
Again from Cots. Two categories relevant to Mauer, if he were to become essentially a DH:

The highest-paid designated hitters, by average annual value:
1. David Ortiz, $14,575,000 (2012)
2. Travis Hafner, $14,250,000 (2009-12)
3. Jim Thome, $14,166,667 (2003-08)
4. Gary Sheffield, $14,000,000 (2008-09)
. . . Adam Dunn, $14,000,000 (2011-14)
6. David Ortiz, $13,000,000 (2007-10)
7. David Ortiz, $12,500,000 (2011)
7. Victor Martinez, $12,500,000 (2011-14)


You see what the Victor Martinez role was actually valued at. Granted Mauer could play that role much better, but $23 mil is still a vast overpay.

It's to be noted that the best 1B are paid $25 mil per, but the problem there is that Mauer doesn't hit like them.

Here's the catchers list:

1. Joe Mauer, $23,000,000 (2011-18)
2. Yadier Molina, $15,000,000 (2013-17)
3. Jorge Posada, $13,100,000 (2008-11)
4. Mike Piazza, $13,000,000 (1999-2005)
5. Miguel Montero, $12,000,000 (2013-17)
6. Jason Varitek, $10,000,000 (2005-08)
. . . Ivan Rodriguez, $10,000,000 (2004-07)
. . . Jason Kendall, $10,000,000 (2002-07)
9. Mike Napoli, $9,400,000 (2012)
10. Ivan Rodriguez, $8,500,000 (1999-2002)
11. Joe Mauer, $8,250,000 (2007-10)


I mean, his contract is up in the stratosphere there.
   48. AROM Posted: August 29, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4221161)
Mauer has a full no-trade clause and he doesn't want to leave.


Glad to read that. Some players just should not be moved. Mauer is a local boy and on his way to the HOF and should have only a Twins cap on.

Like Ripken with the Orioles, Gwynn with the Padres, Yount with the Brewers, Brett with the Royals, Jeter with the Yankees, Chapel with the Tigers, Walker with the Expos (d'oh)...Some things just should not be messed with.

Can't complain too much when your team gets a great player, but maybe the baseball gods are not exactly pleased with Arte for taking el Hombre out of St. Louis.
   49. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 29, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4221167)
Also, the thing about Henry's hedge fund is a red herring since the Red Sox don't operate at a loss. I really doubt the other investors in FSG are going to let Henry pull money from the Sox to prop up a failing hedge fund. Not buying that at all.
   50. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4221184)
I love Mauer as a player, but the Victor Martinez role is not worth $23 mil per. The contract looked like an overpay at the time, and looks like one even moreso now. He has only caught 114 games over the past two years.

Not being a fan of an AL team, I had no idea Mauer was catching that little. If he can only catch half of his team's games, $23 milion a year is definitely out of line with his on the field production.

That being said, I don't know that you should trade him. You're unlikely to get value back for anyone with a contract that size. And as a local boy, the Twins have additional PR reasons to keep him around.

I just hope the Braves are paying attention, and keep this in mind when McCann's contract is up. I'm a big McCann fan, but...
   51. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 29, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4221188)
47 - ray, or anyone who cares to answer; correcting for salary trends, how much above Piazza, I-Rod, and Kendall is he?
   52. Nasty Nate Posted: August 29, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4221193)
47 - ray, or anyone who cares to answer; correcting for salary trends, how much above Piazza, I-Rod, and Kendall is he?


I was going to ask something similar. Post #37 is informative but salary inflation has made the gap between Mauer's and some of the past contracts a little exaggerated. I think Ray is right that it is an overpay, but I also still think that if he were a FA this offseason he would get 5/$110m or 6/$125 from someone.
   53. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4221217)
I was going to ask something similar. Post #37 is informative but salary inflation has made the gap between Mauer's and some of the past contracts a little exaggerated.


I'm not sure this is that much of an issue. Although Molina's contract is instructive, as it was just signed in March. He was heading into his age-29 season and coming off a 124 OPS+, which was a career high but his defensive reputation (and performance according to dWAR) has always been stellar. Molina is seen as, and has been, one of the best catchers in the game.
   54. Dale Sams Posted: August 29, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4221225)
John Henry's yacht was parked by the Boston Harbor Hotel this weekend. It's still really big and shiny. He still owns Liverpool. His hedge funds aren't killing him just yet.


I'm with Jonah Keri. It is a good idea. It is an overpay, but you don't get awards for win/$.

If someone said I’ll trade you Joe Mauer, James Loney, another piece and two top #100 prospects for Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Adrian Gonzalez…you’d take it wouldn’t you?

I understand the knee-jerk reaction is to say "Oh hell no!" but i don't want my FO to be knee-jerk fanboys. The perfectly priced FA superstar isn't going to walk through the door anytime soon. And the worst thing that can happen is 'oops. We got Joe Mauer'.
   55. DL from MN Posted: August 29, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4221247)
Mauer was hurt last year which affected his ability to catch. This season he's healthy but isn't catching as often for a couple reasons. The Twins aren't winning so there's no reason to ask Mauer to catch more often. Ryan Doumit has been a good option as a backup catcher. Also, they're easing Morneau back in from missing most of two seasons and using Mauer as the backup 1B.

The Twins seem to recognize that Mauer only has so many games to catch over the remainder of the contract and they're not going to push him when they aren't competitive.

I'd say about $3M of the annual value of the contract is pure marketing. Mauer is the face of the team. He sells tickets and jerseys, especially to women.
   56. Jim P Posted: August 29, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4221256)
Two questions about the waiver rules
1. If a player has a no-trade clause or a 10x5, does that apply to waiver claims as well? I thought about this with Beckett, that if he refused the trade, that the Sox could have just let him go.
2. What precautions are in place to prevent a team from letting a player go on waivers and then making a seemingly-independent deal with the claiming team?
   57. JJ1986 Posted: August 29, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4221258)
Two questions about the waiver rules


1. Yes, the clause (or 10/5 rights) apply. The contract can't be assigned without their permission.
   58. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: August 29, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4221262)
How many 30 year old catchers with 142 million owed are great things?

One
   59. dr. scott Posted: August 29, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4221273)
Yea, my wife barely knows the Twins exist... but she likes Mauer. She also likes Braun though. I think its just guys with lots of vowels next to each other.
   60. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 29, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4221281)
Yea, my wife barely knows the Twins exist... but she likes Mauer. She also likes Braun though. I think its just guys with lots of vowels next to each other.

Yeah, sure, it's the vowels. She's always just thinking of you. (Wink, wink!)
   61. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4221291)
This season he's healthy but isn't catching as often for a couple reasons. The Twins aren't winning so there's no reason to ask Mauer to catch more often.


Have the Twins said that this is why he hasn't caught much? It would be the first time in history a catcher was used this way, to my knowledge.

It seems to me that you simply can't bring yourself to admit that the contract is a bad one and that Mauer is already no longer a full-time catcher.

Did the Twins consider themselves out of it on April 18th? Because Mauer had only started 6 of 11 games at catcher to that point.

The Twins were 8 games out of the division on July 3rd, and yet Mauer had started just 33 of the 80 games at catcher. Perhaps they would have been closer had he started more games?

What's the reason for starting Drew Butera? He's caught in 33 games, starting 25 of them (232 total innings). He has a .567 OPS, .497 career.

It's not like Mauer was catching regularly until the Twins gave up on the season. Right from opening day he wasn't catching regularly.

If your $23 million catcher has to be used this way, where you're basically gambling in April and May that the season is lost and therefore there's no reason to start him regularly, he's not worth $23 million.
   62. dr. scott Posted: August 29, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4221305)
Yeah, sure, it's the vowels. She's always just thinking of you. (Wink, wink!)


Crap, now you are reminding me she likes Reddick and Travis Buck too... Im going to have to expand my theory to include players with lots of vowels and Oakland outfielders that look like Lorenzo Lamas.
   63. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: August 29, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4221315)
I'm with Jonah Keri. It is a good idea. It is an overpay, but you don't get awards for win/$.

If someone said I’ll trade you Joe Mauer, James Loney, another piece and two top #100 prospects for Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Adrian Gonzalez…you’d take it wouldn’t you?


Yes, I agree. Acquiring Mauer would be a suitable second step to the plan, and would greatly reassure me as to the direction of the org.

That being said, of course, as noted many times in this thread and desperately ignored by karlmagnus, Mauer's future has precisely ####### to do with whether or not it would be a good idea for the Red Sox or Mets or whoever to acquire him.
   64. Poulanc Posted: August 29, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4221319)
If your $23 million catcher has to be used this way, where you're basically gambling in April and May that the season is lost and therefore there's no reason to start him regularly, he's not worth $23 million.


I think the argument here is not that he has to be used that way, but that he can be used that way.

The Twins are basically rotating 3 guys in the 1B, DH, and C positions. Does it really matter what defensive combination Mauer, Morneau, and Doumit are playing? Why not give each guy some time off from playing in the field, especially when you consider that all three have injury histories?
   65. flournoy Posted: August 29, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4221324)
Like Ripken with the Orioles, Gwynn with the Padres, Yount with the Brewers, Brett with the Royals, Jeter with the Yankees, Chapel with the Tigers, Walker with the Expos (d'oh)...Some things just should not be messed with.


Who is Chapel? Charlie Gehringer? Also, Barry Larkin is the platonic ideal of this stereotype as well.
   66. villageidiom Posted: August 29, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4221331)
If someone said I’ll trade you Joe Mauer, James Loney, another piece and two top #100 prospects for Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Adrian Gonzalez…you’d take it wouldn’t you?
You mean we get to keep Punto? ;-)

You could take out Mauer's name and add Yuniesky Betancourt, and you'd still make that deal, if the deal couldn't be made otherwise. That doesn't mean acquiring Betancourt in a waiver claim is a good idea.

Joe Mauer should no longer be considered a catcher. If Mauer is not a catcher, he is not a unique talent. If he is not a catcher, he is likely not worth the contract he has. Boston just unloaded a bunch of players who likely would not be worth their contracts; I see no reason to go down that path again for someone who is not a unique talent.
   67. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 29, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4221332)
Who is Chapel?


Billy Chapel was Kevin Costner's character in "For Love of the Game". A career long pitcher for the Tigers.
   68. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4221334)

Who is Chapel? Charlie Gehringer? Also, Barry Larkin is the platonic ideal of this stereotype as well.


Billy Chapel. Tossed a perfecto at Yankee Stadium when he was washed up. Dated some weird scientology chick.
   69. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 29, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4221337)
i thought mauer was still working his way back into catching because of nagging this and that.

catchers have awful seasons and later it's discovered that they were dealing with an injury the whole time. wouldn't surprise me to learn that mccann's season has been sabotaged by some owie of his hands or shoulder or somewhat

mauer should catch 115 odd games and dh another 30 and the twins should be fine with that.
   70. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4221342)
I think the argument here is not that he has to be used that way, but that he can be used that way.


Well, sure. Troy Tulowitzky "could" be used as a 1B/DH also. But if you do that, you're slicing off a chunk of his value.

The Twins are basically rotating 3 guys in the 1B, DH, and C positions. Does it really matter what defensive combination Mauer, Morneau, and Doumit are playing?


First, they're rotating 4 guys, not 3. Drew Butera of the .500 career OPS has the equivalent of 26 full nine-inning games at catcher.

Second, this is fundamental player evaluation. Yes, it does "really matter" if Mauer isn't catching. Because he's not as valuable at other positions. They have used Drew Butera at catcher for 232 innings. And Mauer's bat is not as special at first base. And Doumit isn't worth very much as a DH.


   71. Nasty Nate Posted: August 29, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4221343)
catchers have awful seasons and later it's discovered that they were dealing with an injury the whole time. wouldn't surprise me to learn that mccann's season has been sabotaged by some owie of his hands or shoulder or somewhat


I think he has acknowledged that he has some shoulder injury.
   72. DL from MN Posted: August 29, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4221348)
In April and May the Twins were still working Justin Morneau into the lineup which meant they were playing Mauer a lot at 1B and DH. Drew Butera wasn't on the roster to start the season. By June it was obvious they weren't a contender because their pitching was terrible, which you should be able to tell since after their best stretch of baseball they were 8 games out in July.

Terry Ryan and Ron Gardenhire have both said there's no reason to wear out Mauer this year. I'm not saying he would have caught 30 more games but 10-15 is reasonable.

What's the reason for starting Drew Butera?


None of us here in MN can figure that one out. Probably the same reason they really liked Denny Hocking.
   73. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 29, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4221351)
Joe Mauer should no longer be considered a catcher.
He's good at playing the defensive position of catcher. The Twins have made the judgment that it's best for their club in the future to only use him as a part-time catcher, but I think whether Mauer should be considered a catcher is still a reasonably open question.
   74. Nasty Nate Posted: August 29, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4221353)
I think Ray's right that we can't assume Mauer could play 120-130 games at catcher and be as productive as he is now. He's a guy who can rotate to DH and 1B like the Twins have this year, or you can play him only at catcher and likely endure worse health and/or batting performance.
   75. Dale Sams Posted: August 29, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4221355)
If Mauer is not a catcher, he is not a unique talent


Second in the league in OBP isn't unique? 23mill unique? no. But let's not dismiss him out of hand. That's why deals are worked out.
   76. DL from MN Posted: August 29, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4221358)
It would be the first time in history a catcher was used this way, to my knowledge.


Nobody has ever saved a catcher's legs by playing him at other positions before? I know Bill Freehan was used this way, I'm sure there are others. There are plenty of ballplayers who get days off to keep them fresh for a playoff run.

mauer should catch 115 odd games and dh another 30 and the twins should be fine with that.


I think that's the plan but it assumes a playoff run. If the Twins make the playoffs Mauer catches 115 games including the postseason.
   77. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 29, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4221359)
I think Ray's right that we can't assume Mauer could play 120-130 games at catcher and be as productive as he is now.
To be clear, I wouldn't bet on Mauer being worth the contract. The risk when he signed was whether his body could withstand 120 games a year behind the plate through his early 30s, and the last two seasons suggest that it can't.

I'm just saying, we don't know that yet. Mauer is still a very good defensive catcher - unlike Victor Martinez, say - and so it's possible that 2011's injuries were just a fluke and next season the Twins (or another club) could sit him behind the plate four or five days a week and get a new string of 5-6 WAR seasons.
   78. Tripon Posted: August 29, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4221371)
Never seen Drew Butera play but it sounds like the Twins got Jeff Mathis disease, where they assume a crappy hitting catcher must play godly defense and is worth keeping in the lineup game after game.
   79. Nasty Nate Posted: August 29, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4221374)
Second in the league in OBP isn't unique?


by definition, no.
   80. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 29, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4221380)
dl

my cutoff for a catcher being deemed the primary is 70 percent and that equates to right around 115 games of the regular season.

   81. Davo Dozier (Mastroianni) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4221385)
This is a baseball site, right? I have a baseball question:

What did Joe Mauer do differently in 2009 that allowed him to hit 28 home runs?
   82. Dale Sams Posted: August 29, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4221387)
Second in the league in OBP isn't unique?


by definition, no.


Well if we're playing that game, he is. How many others are second place?
   83. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4221393)
Second in the league in OBP isn't unique?


Citing OBP without SLG is not as problematic as citing BA, but it's not very helpful, either.

He has a .425 SLG, which is decidedly not unique. His 130 OPS+ is very good, but only 26th in the AL. The OBP will push him higher than that, but not that much higher. His EqA is .294. Very good. Not elite.

So, no, his hitting has not been unique.
   84. KT's Pot Arb Posted: August 29, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4221395)
I don't buy the Mauer should be a Twin forever weak-minded thinking. If he is constantly hurt and the team sucks for years, he will end up being hated there. Fans always turn on the biggest underperformers when teams fail, no matter where they went to high school, especially if they were viewed as HOF bound. Mauer and the Twins both should know they are at great risk here, he has the opportunity to go to a team that could win now, he might not get that ever again.

If the Twins offer to kick in $3m per year that should lock the deal down.

Edit: Cokes to Ray though, he was the only voice of reason on the other thread. I just think he underestimates the value of being able to play Mauer at multiple positions, as well as the possibility he will be able to play catcher often, and hit at a high level. I don't think the Sox are taking a big risk here, Mauer is far more valuable, useful, and talented than Crawford, and the cost isn't much more. Marginal wins to the Sox are worth the risk, if they get 6 WAR a year from one roster spot that's worth paying up for. At $20m per year they should roll the dice for sure.
   85. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 29, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4221396)
What did Joe Mauer do differently in 2009 that allowed him to hit 28 home runs?
If I'm remembering correctly, Mauer had a very high percentage of "just barely" homers. So part of it was a touch of luck. I do wonder, also, if Mauer's recurring hip injuries have sapped his power a bit. When I watched him in 2009, Mauer looked like the same line drive hitter he's always been.
   86. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4221397)
Besides, we have a catcher who can hit home runs now (as of last night), so I think we're all set there.


Mauer to first, and Ike to an OF corner?
   87. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4221399)
dl

my cutoff for a catcher being deemed the primary is 70 percent and that equates to right around 115 games of the regular season.


Yes; I think anything less than 115 and it's not reasonable to call him a regular catcher. You'd like to see him at 120-125 minimum, but if it's 115 and he's playing other positions and they're saving his legs, fine. But 62 with a month left? No.
   88. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4221402)
What did Joe Mauer do differently in 2009 that allowed him to hit 28 home runs?


Have his career year.

It was a career year, just as Boggs hit 24 HR one year, without "1987" as the explanation. Maybe Brady Anderson is a better example than Boggs. But players will repeat their career averages instead of their career years, and Mauer is no exception. He's a 135 OPS+ hitter, not a 170 OPS+ hitter.
   89. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 29, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4221405)
davo

i noticed at the time but joe was clearly locked in upon his return in may and cranked any pitch on the inner half out of the park. i figured that was a fluke since he immediately became the usual joe mauer of mostly doubles and a homer every so often and then he did it again in august with 8 homers.

so he hit 19 homers across two months.

just a swag but i figure he felt really healthy, was feeling good, made an adjustment and everything clicked

when he got hurt again in 2010 and was struggling he either went back to the old way for comfort or didn't think he could keep up the new approach.

this is all from memory but joe mauer in may 2009 was looking to hit homers. i noticed it at the time because he crushed the brewers that month. next year he was feeling for the ball again and slicing it to left center
   90. Poulanc Posted: August 29, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4221412)
Well, sure. Troy Tulowitzky "could" be used as a 1B/DH also.


I think you are missing the point. If the Rockies were playing in the AL, and their primary DH could also play shortstop, then they certainly could play Tulo at DH to rest him.

But if you do that, you're slicing off a chunk of his value.


While the Twins may be slicing off a chunk of Mauer's by having him DH, aren't they getting more value out of Doumit by playing him at catcher?

Second, this is fundamental player evaluation. Yes, it does "really matter" if Mauer isn't catching. Because he's not as valuable at other positions. They have used Drew Butera at catcher for 232 innings. And Mauer's bat is not as special at first base. And Doumit isn't worth very much as a DH.


The goal for the Twins isn't to maximize Joe Mauer's value. If you want to argue that the Twins should have a different DH than Doumit, I'd listen to that argument. But I see no reason why the Twins should play Mauer full time at catcher when they have a DH who can also catch.

First, they're rotating 4 guys, not 3. Drew Butera of the .500 career OPS has the equivalent of 26 full nine-inning games at catcher.


10 of Butera's starts happened in a 25 game window in May, when Morneau missed a couple of weeks. As to why they play Butera, DL and Tripon have nailed it - no one knows, but the Twins seem to love his defense.
   91. DL from MN Posted: August 29, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4221413)
What did Joe Mauer do differently in 2009 that allowed him to hit 28 home runs?


Look at the hit chart. He found a spot in the Metrodome that he could reach hitting the ball the other way. Then they moved to Target Field and that same power alley is 15-20 feet further away. Incidentally, that power alley is right off (or over) the Green Monster. He only has one other "zone" where he can pull a ball out of the park to RF and pitchers pretty much don't throw it there.
   92. DL from MN Posted: August 29, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4221418)
The Twins have a DH who can also catch (instead of a pure DH like Thome) partly because they're trying to rest Mauer so it's kind of a catch 22.
   93. Dale Sams Posted: August 29, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4221436)
If he is constantly hurt and the team sucks for years, he will end up being hated there


That is a mindset that fans need to get away from. There's one thing being crippled, and it's not these fat-cats mansion bills. It's peoples enjoyment of baseball,People that see a guy like JD Drew strike-out and go "How much are 'we' paying him??? AUGGHHHH"

I didn't hate Crawford because he failed, I hated him because he had a baseball IQ of 12.
   94. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 29, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4221443)
What did Mauer do to hit 28? PEDs, of course.

Ray, even tho Molina's hitting well this year, his 124 OPS+ brought his career OPS to 88. Excellent defender, yes, not so excellent comp. Piazza's little D and large bat brought a bigger contract.
   95. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4221469)
Can't really hate Crawford for hating Boston, but he probably shouldn't have signed there if he thought he'd hate it. The Crawford signing was, and is, a reason to hate...Theo Epstein? No way! But but but Duquette was the bad guy, he signed that Ramirez guy and...oh.

Wonder Boy my ass?
   96. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4221473)
When Mauer's deal was signed, the basic justification was that he would produce as one of the best catchers in the league for several years -- primarily at catcher -- and then gradually get more time at other positions on the back end. The idea was to get vintage Mauer for a long while, mainly hitting his career averages but every now and again getting a spike. There were even dreams of him retaining the power surge he saw in 2009.

I don't recall anyone saying at the time, "Well, the plan is to play him 75 games at catcher in year 2 if his team is out of it, to save his legs."

What has happened is that the first year was a lost year between injuries and an off year in hitting, and the second year has seen him return to form as a hitter but catching an expected 75 games. The deal has started off badly. It's not Carl Crawford bad, but it's been bad. At a minimum it's very concerning.

And yet the response here is, "What's the big deal? They've been rotating him around because they have other good players and they're dealing with injuries to other players and they're saving his legs because the team is out of contention even though they started right from April 1st playing him part time as a catcher."

People are up in the clouds with this.
   97. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 29, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4221487)
Ive not followed the justifications, but "what's the big deal about rotating him?" seems defensible. His absence behind the plate isn't costing the team a chance at the postseason and it may well extend his useful life. I don't know that it's a hell of a lot different from shutting someone down to avoid further injury risk when a team is out of the playoffs. the player could remain in the lineup, and he wasn't offered acontract to be on the DL, but what's the problem with forward planning?
   98. Poulanc Posted: August 29, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4221496)
People are up in the clouds with this.


So you think the Twins should play Mauer 130 games a year at catcher just to justify the contract? Even if there is no benefit to the team to do so?
   99. Nasty Nate Posted: August 29, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4221502)
So you think the Twins should play Mauer 130 games a year at catcher just to justify the contract? Even if there is no benefit to the team to do so?


But in general there is a benefit for the team to do so: fewer games with a backup catcher in the lineup.
   100. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4221506)
When the deal was signed, many people thought it'd be an albatross in the long run given Mauer's injury history. But they were also lauding the deal, mainly because "yay Twinkies for finally keeping one of their own!"

Having Doumit around does keep the Twins in a nice spot--he and Mauer can trade off in order to keep Mauer from breaking down. But ideally you have better bats at 1B and DH--because Mauer has to jump around, the Twins will find it harder to fit in an everyday 1B-or-DH-worthy bat.

EDIT: This discussion would be a lot different if Doumit wasn't having an excellent year.
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