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Monday, February 01, 2010

WCCO: Sources: Mauer, Twins Agree To 10-Year Contract

Gotta love Twitter, heard this from 3 people within minutes:

Sources tell WCCO-TV’s Mark Rosen that American League MVP Joe Mauer has come to a preliminary agreement with the Minnesota Twins for a 10-year contract extension.

Mike Emeigh Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:08 PM | 113 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: twins

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   1. zachtoma Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:13 PM (#3451950)
Wow, I hope this is true. I think everyone does. Have any other players besides A-Rod and possibly now Mauer gotten decade-long deals?
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:14 PM (#3451951)
Holy ####### ####.
   3. Cris E Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:14 PM (#3451952)
Sweet.
   4. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:15 PM (#3451955)
I think there was one of the first big ones back in the 80s, but it'll have to be someone older than I who provides that information.

Me, I'm happy. The handwringing about Mauer in a Yankees (or Red Sox) uniform can stop, Mauer can play out his prime in his hometown. All that's left to worry about is whether he can keep it up and become The Greatest Catcher of All Time.
   5. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:16 PM (#3451956)
Dave Winfield.
   6. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:16 PM (#3451958)
Jeter got a ten-year contract extension of which 2010 will be the last year. Money well spent.

Mauer, Rodriguez, Jeter and Wayne Garland. There's a pantheon.
   7. DCW3 Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:16 PM (#3451960)
Wayne Garland.
   8. Craig in MN Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:16 PM (#3451961)
Big smile.
   9. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:18 PM (#3451964)
As much as I cordially detest the Twins, I hope this turns out to be true.
   10. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:18 PM (#3451965)
Didn't Helton have a 10 year deal?
   11. Willie Mayspedester Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:18 PM (#3451967)
Does he get 2,000 hits during this decade long contract?
   12. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:19 PM (#3451969)
Todd Helton is on a 9-year contract through 2011. I am pretty sure he is the only player ever to be signed to a 9-year contract.
   13. Gamingboy Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:20 PM (#3451970)
I'm not sure what makes me happier if this deal is true: The fact he'll stay in Minnesota, or the fact that he won't be in New York.
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:20 PM (#3451971)
Wait, didn't Zeth all but guarantee that Mauer would leave?

Hope this is true. I would have hated to see him anywhere else, including the Red Sox.
   15. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:20 PM (#3451973)
Ahh yes, Helton's 10th year is a club option. Pretty close.
   16. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:21 PM (#3451977)
Zeth was probably thinking from the Homo economicus point of view. I expect him to be one of the people appearing here to say that if Mauer accepted a contract that the Twins could afford, he is the dumbest person ever because his "market value" is such that he could logically only sign with the Yankees or Manchester City.
   17. WillYoung Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:22 PM (#3451978)
Um, Rosen's source is the Common Man. An hour ago, I turned on KFAN for a rare moment (to enjoy the Vikings angst) and Rosen was on being told by Common Man (thru his internet sources) that the contract was agreed upon.

I'm not quite sure it's set yet (although I've never doubted for a second it would eventually get done).
   18. AROM Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:22 PM (#3451979)
Awesome. Congrats, Twins fans. And to think they were talking about contracting this franchise a few years ago. The world is better place with Joe Mauer in Minnesota.
   19. Craig in MN Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:26 PM (#3451983)
Um, Rosen's source is the Common Man.

I can't imagine Rosen would go this seriously with a rumor just from him, would he?
   20. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:26 PM (#3451985)
Awesome. Congrats, Twins fans. And to think they were talking about contracting this franchise a few years ago. The world is better place with Joe Mauer in Minnesota.

Agreed. Obviously, the selfish Red Sox fan part of me wants my team to have a shot at a future HoF catcher (who wouldn't?), but ultimately I'm glad it turned out this way.
   21. zachtoma Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:27 PM (#3451986)
After the Yankees' WS win leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of some, there's actually been some potentially good developments towards a more equitable league this offseason - one: the Marlins getting something of a comeuppance and having to publicly renew their commitment to the revenue sharing program, two: this. Of course, one likes to think that it's a bellwether for the next decade, and that soon Pujols will fall in line and commit to the Cards for life, but Mauer is also a unique case, being an apparently humble superstar playing for his hometown team.
   22. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:27 PM (#3451987)
Have any other players besides A-Rod and possibly now Mauer gotten decade-long deals?

Rick DiPietro
   23. Cris E Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:28 PM (#3451992)
It's a funny thing about these ten year deals. Almost every one has looked like an albatross at some point and then not looked as bad a year or three later. I think Jeter is the only one that wasn't complained about. (Which is to say, the Wayne Garland contract was signed in downtown Stupidopolis of the Fourth of Dumbtober and should be set aside as the exception proving the rule. Or something.) Anyway, ten years is so long that the economic baselines of the sport can change more than once. It's a monster commitment, but history tells us it usually works out.

(EDIT: I am looking through my rose colored Glasses Of Objectivity with the cool Twins hologram logo on the side. Leave me alone as I enjoy this moment.)
   24. Gazizza, my Dilznoofuses! Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:31 PM (#3451999)
FWIW, Buster Olney just tweeted: "Multiple sources now saying that the report on a preliminary agreement for Mauer is not accurate."
   25. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:32 PM (#3452000)
Also, Magic Johnson.
   26. AROM Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:32 PM (#3452001)
Nobody's posting money yet, but it will be soon I'm sure, and up on Cot's. Let me make a guess here:

226 million.
   27. The District Attorney Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:32 PM (#3452002)
I think there was one of the first big ones back in the 80s
George Brett, Frank White, and (wait for it...) Willie Wilson all got extremely long contracts that were described at the time as "lifetime contracts."

I assume that meant at least 10 years in each case, although I don't know that for sure.
   28. Gamingboy Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:35 PM (#3452008)
FWIW, Buster Olney just tweeted: "Multiple sources now saying that the report on a preliminary agreement for Mauer is not accurate."


####### party pooper.
   29. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:35 PM (#3452009)
Does he get 2,000 hits during this decade long contract?


No way. He doesn't play enough. Despite the batting titles, Mauer has never had 200 hits in a single season, and unless he stops walking or starts playing more, he's not going to do it a bunch of times in the future, either.
   30. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:36 PM (#3452010)
Buster Olney just tweeted: "Multiple sources now saying that the report on a preliminary agreement for Mauer is not accurate."


#### Buster Olney. This is real because I want it to be real.
   31. tjm1 Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:37 PM (#3452012)
Rick DiPietro


The NHL salary cap rules have some oddities that make it sensible for teams to give guys ridiculously long contracts. I don't understand the details, but you definitely can't compare NHL to MLB in this respect.

In addition to Helton who had club options extending the deal to a maximum of 10 years, there's also Manny Ramirez who signed an 8+2 deal with Boston.
   32. DL from MN Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:37 PM (#3452013)
Common Man broke the Thome signing last week. Let's see if he can get the scoop again this week.
   33. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:37 PM (#3452014)
Congrats to all Twins fans!
   34. Hugh Jorgan Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:40 PM (#3452019)
Damn you Mauer! The Red Sox would've given you far more cash! How dare you be a principled and well adjusted young man and do the right thing! Damn you!

Well done Twins, good move.
   35. Scott Kazmir's breaking balls Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:40 PM (#3452021)
Juan Encarnacion was offered10 years/$80 mil by Detroit, which he considered "an insult". (Idiot) I don't know of any other 10 year deals that were rejected, except this one.
   36. Willie Mayspedester Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:41 PM (#3452022)
Ok how about 250HRs?
   37. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:46 PM (#3452031)
Juan Encarnacion was offered10 years/$80 mil by Detroit, which he considered "an insult". (Idiot) I don't know of any other 10 year deals that were rejected, except this one.


Surely you mean Juan Gonzalez.
   38. zack Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:46 PM (#3452032)
#35 I think you mean Juan Gonzalez. And more like 180.

Edit: Soda pop.
   39. Greg K Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:47 PM (#3452036)
Juan Encarnacion was offered10 years/$80 mil by Detroit, which he considered "an insult". (Idiot) I don't know of any other 10 year deals that were rejected, except this one.

I might be missing something here, but I think you mean EDWIN Encarnacion.
   40. JoeHova Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:49 PM (#3452042)
Let me make a guess here: 226 million.

If it is a 10 year deal, my guess is $275 million.
   41. Cat Named Manny Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:49 PM (#3452043)
Big signings of players like this that don't involve the Yankees always make me relieved. Yeah, maybe the Red Sox would have a shot, but let's be realistic: It's either the Twins or the Yankees for Mauer.
   42. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:50 PM (#3452044)
Surely he means Edwin Moses.
   43. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:50 PM (#3452045)
I believe it was Edwin Jackson who was offered the 10-year, $8 million contract by Detroit. When he rejected it they traded him in a fit of disgust.
   44. WillYoung Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:50 PM (#3452046)
I've guessed all winter that he signs for 7-years, $175 and until I hear from someone besides Mark Rosen, I'm not going to believe otherwise.
   45. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:52 PM (#3452047)
Ok how about 250HRs?

I'll still take the under. And I love me some Mauer.
   46. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:53 PM (#3452048)
Ok how about 250HRs?


I'd take the under on that but not as confidently as I would on the 2,000 hits. I'll buy an increase in power but I'm betting he goes between 15 and 25 home runs over the next ten years. If he gets 2,000 hits in the next ten years (assuming no position change) he will go down as the greatest catcher of all time.
   47. Porpoise Delectable Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:57 PM (#3452053)
And to think they were talking about contracting this franchise a few years ago.


MLB never had any intention of contracting the Twins. They just wanted to scare Twins' fans into paying for a new pleasure palace (which they ultimately did, though I can't say this threat was the primary reason).
   48. Cris E Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:57 PM (#3452054)
The new park could have a lot to say about how good his numbers turn out to be. There's very little foul ground and the power alleys are short, so at first bllush it looks like a hitter's park. If that's the case you could add to his numbers a little.
   49. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 01, 2010 at 11:00 PM (#3452059)
Giving a ten year deal to a 27 year old catcher for huge money is foolish. (For any free agent player, really.) I don't care how good the catcher is. If this report is true, it won't end well. Mauer is not exactly the pinnacle of health.
   50. Gamingboy Posted: February 01, 2010 at 11:05 PM (#3452063)
Giving a ten year deal to a 27 year old catcher for huge money is foolish. (For any free agent player, really.) I don't care how good the catcher is. If this report is true, it won't end well. Mauer is not exactly the pinnacle of health.


Joe Mauer does not need "legs".
   51. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 01, 2010 at 11:06 PM (#3452065)
Giving a ten year deal to a 27 year old catcher for huge money is foolish. (For any free agent player, really.) I don't care how good the catcher is. If this report is true, it won't end well. Mauer is not exactly the pinnacle of health.

In a vacuum, yes. Given the situation as a whole, Mauer's local roots, what he means to the franchise both on the field and off, etc, and when compared to the alternative (not signing him), it makes sense.

This isn't your average ten year deal, assuming it's true.

Also, if it really is ten years, I seriously doubt it's for more than $225M, and quite possibly less.
   52. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: February 01, 2010 at 11:09 PM (#3452071)
I certainly hope that this is true.
   53. Ron Johnson Posted: February 01, 2010 at 11:13 PM (#3452079)
Ray I think it really depends on the amount. If the tail end of the contract looks sane for a decent hitting 1B/DH they should do OK (ish)

And yes, he could go Kendall (or Shanty Hogan -- another guy from his comp list who didn't play much or well from age 27 on). But Dickey, Berra and Cochrane are prominent on his comp list and I don't think you'd regret having signed any of them to a 10 year deal at a similar age.
   54. WillYoung Posted: February 01, 2010 at 11:18 PM (#3452083)
The new park could have a lot to say about how good his numbers turn out to be. There's very little foul ground and the power alleys are short, so at first blush it looks like a hitter's park. If that's the case you could add to his numbers a little.


Or it might be a pitcher's park.
   55. depletion Posted: February 01, 2010 at 11:24 PM (#3452089)
Joe Mauer does not need "legs".

He can run faster with his teeth than mortal beings.
   56. Morty Causa Posted: February 01, 2010 at 11:25 PM (#3452094)
But, why is it foolish? What do we know about it? You want this guy, that's what he wants, you think someone else might give it to him, so you give it to him, whether you think he'll play quality ball for the ten years or not because overall you think it'll be to your benefit? Seems there's a tendency to conflate "market" with some "comparable worth" ideal that exists only as some sort of half-baked feeling about how things should be.

Then, of course, we don't know the money that team has, and the financial three-card monte it can rig up to pay this at much less than it seems to portend. In 2008 right before the market tanked and oil and natural gas prices dropped like an anvil, companies were paying ten thousand dollars an acre and more to landowners (and mineral rights owners) for oil and gas leases in North Louisiana. I asked one oil company executive how they could do that and make a lot of money. Are you kidding, he said. After all expenses, including up-front lease money and paying the land companies to do the leasing and vetting title, on a two section unit, we'll come out with $500,000,000.00 what with the prices being what they are. Of course, that's gross revenue, before taxes (ha ha).

The assumption in a market system is that the general result will be the arm race between labor and capital will reach stasis. In other words, if they can pay it, they can afford it. If they can't, then it'll adjust. Of course, MLB isn't a pure market system by any means, but that's only because all the concessions are given by labor--I don't see how that doesn't benefit the owners.
   57. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 01, 2010 at 11:26 PM (#3452096)
Well, there goes my "move Brian McCann to 1B" theory.
   58. billyshears Posted: February 01, 2010 at 11:40 PM (#3452107)
If it's a 10 year deal, I would guess it's for around $20 mil/year. Mauer gives the Twins a discount on the AAV and the Twins pay him huge money until he's 36. Seems fair.

On another note, while Mauer's awesomeness is only exceeded by Matt Wieters, last year was really his first holy #### season. While he's had other very, very good years, it wouldn't surprise me if by signing after 2009, the "discount" he gives the Twins winds up being closer to fair value.
   59. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 01, 2010 at 11:41 PM (#3452109)
George Brett, Frank White, and (wait for it...) Willie Wilson all got extremely long contracts that were described at the time as "lifetime contracts."

I assume that meant at least 10 years in each case, although I don't know that for sure


It was Dan Quisenberry, not Frank that got one oddly. Quiz was actually released just three years after his "lifetime contract." And Brett's was just a five year extension in the middle of a five year deal. I think they were all called "lifetime contracts" because there were deferments and real estate investments involved that would have paid them well into the next century.

Wilson and Quiz ended up both negotiating settlements with the club to terminate the payments when they were released. Wilson filed for bankruptcy a few years ago.
   60. andrewberg Posted: February 01, 2010 at 11:46 PM (#3452114)
10 years... perfect... he will be coming off the books right around the time Miguel Sano gets his first big payday.
   61. DCW3 Posted: February 01, 2010 at 11:51 PM (#3452120)
But Dickey, Berra and Cochrane are prominent on his comp list and I don't think you'd regret having signed any of them to a 10 year deal at a similar age.

Cochrane played his last full season at age 31, Dickey at 32.
   62. Gamingboy Posted: February 01, 2010 at 11:56 PM (#3452124)
He can run faster with his teeth than mortal beings.


I was going to say that he would literally throw himself across the bases using his laser rocket arm, but I guess that works too
   63. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 01, 2010 at 11:57 PM (#3452125)
But Dickey, Berra and Cochrane are prominent on his comp list and I don't think you'd regret having signed any of them to a 10 year deal at a similar age.

Cochrane played his last full season at age 31, Dickey at 32.


OK, but if Mauer posts full season OPS+ of 132, 109, 158, 145, 143, 133 like Dickey did from ages 27-32, anything he produces for the last 4 years is gravy.
   64. andrewberg Posted: February 01, 2010 at 11:59 PM (#3452126)
Surely he means Edwin Moses.


He must have meant Robert Moses. He offered them a contract with the Mets, but they took it as an insult and went to LA.
   65. DL from MN Posted: February 02, 2010 at 12:04 AM (#3452133)
Bingo - if he signs for 10 years $210M the last 3 years of the contract are basically for free. The Yankees/Red Sox probably would have paid $210M for 7 years. I look forward to watching Mauer produce like Bill Dickey until he's 32 or so and then being moved to 3B for his Ripken years.
   66. Gamingboy Posted: February 02, 2010 at 12:08 AM (#3452134)
MLB Network is talking as if it is a done deal, but not "officially" a done deal.

And then they start talking about what the hell the Twins will do with Morneau in a few years.

It never ends.
   67. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 02, 2010 at 12:09 AM (#3452136)
OK, but if Mauer posts full season OPS+ of 132, 109, 158, 145, 143, 133 like Dickey did from ages 27-32, anything he produces for the last 4 years is gravy.


But I don't think the exercise works if you get to pick Dickey's years from ages 27-32 and you get to be optimistic that you can get something better-than-Dickey out of Mauer for the last four years. You're either going with Dickey as your model for how the contract will hopefully go or you're not.

Dickey was still useful after age 32, but simply was not worth a gargantuan contract for those last four years.
   68. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 02, 2010 at 12:12 AM (#3452138)
Bingo - if he signs for 10 years $210M the last 3 years of the contract are basically for free. The Yankees/Red Sox probably would have paid $210M for 7 years.


I object to this type of analysis. Under this analysis, for the deal to "work" you basically have to assume that Mauer gives you seven top years. Then you'd be willing to eat some of the last three years. But if he gets hurt in year 3 or goes all Jason Kendall on you... then what?
   69. Daryn Posted: February 02, 2010 at 12:19 AM (#3452147)
Dave Stieb signed a 10 year deal -- I think it was for $25 million.

If this is true, I bet it is for $190 million.
   70. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 02, 2010 at 12:28 AM (#3452154)
I understand and agree with the general rule of thumb that you want to pay -- even overpay -- for stars.

At issue here is length of contract and the fact that, historically, catchers don't last into their 30s. And the fact that Mauer has had some injury troubles before.

On the other hand, he's a great player, and great players can tend to surprise us.

But the other major, major issue is that his market value is through the roof right now because he's coming off of a peak year. So you're basically paying for him at his peak. I have serious questions:

Can he hold his power increase? Is it for real? He's entering his theoretical prime so he may well be able to.

Isn't a batting average of .365 basically the top of his range? His AVE/OBP/SLG/HR are all career highs. Can we expect that he'll reach some of those career highs again multiple times over the life of the deal?
   71. AJMcCringleberry Posted: February 02, 2010 at 12:41 AM (#3452160)
I would've liked him on the Mets, but this is good too.
   72. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 02, 2010 at 12:44 AM (#3452162)
I object to this type of analysis. Under this analysis, for the deal to "work" you basically have to assume that Mauer gives you seven top years. Then you'd be willing to eat some of the last three years. But if he gets hurt in year 3 or goes all Jason Kendall on you... then what?


As to the latter, well, that's always a risk. If that stops you, then you would never sign any top notch free agents. As for the former, if it's 10/210, well, according to fangraphs, Mauer's 2008 was worth 26 mil, and that was the third best season of his career. 7 years of that (nothing higher, nothing lower) gives you 182 mil. He then needs to be worth just 9 mil per (in 2017 dollars) to break even.
   73. Willie Mayspedester Posted: February 02, 2010 at 12:48 AM (#3452163)
Isn't a batting average of .365 basically the top of his range?


How many catchers have ever hit .365 in a season?
   74. Gamingboy Posted: February 02, 2010 at 12:58 AM (#3452174)
Any criticism of this deal is really mute, as the importance of this deal would NOT be about Joe Mauer the Player. This would be big about Joe Mauer the Icon. He is the embodied personification of the Small Market ballclub. It's about more than Minnesota. To lose Mauer to the Yankees, Red Sox or even Mets would have been the psychological death knell of the small market. It'd be the assassination of JFK, the Nazis marching into Paris and the crushing of Tiananmen Square rolled into one.
   75. Walt Davis Posted: February 02, 2010 at 01:11 AM (#3452183)
As to the latter, well, that's always a risk. If that stops you, then you would never sign any top notch free agents.

Not true. One of the ways you handle the "disaster risk" is by not signing guys to 10 year contracts. The risk that a guy will get seriously hurt within, say, the next 3 years is the same whether you sign him for 3, 5, or 10 years but the potential cost if that happens obviously increases as the years increase.

That's not to say that 10 years for Mauer is necessarily a bad idea nor am I saying he wouldn't get a 10-year offer if he was an FA. There are presumably rare cases where a 10-year commitment is worth the gamble (ARod with the Rangers being the obvious example) and Mauer might be one of those cases.

Nor am I questioning that teams and agents know all this already and it's part of the negotiation that arrives at the final price. That is, the difference between, say, 7/$175 and 10/$200 is probably pretty trivial in NPV terms.

EDIT: disaster risk can be handled by insuring the contract of course -- if you can get it at a reasonable price.
   76. Steve M. Posted: February 02, 2010 at 01:23 AM (#3452190)
I don't see how you criticize this move, even if the AAV is on the high end of what's been predicted here. Joe Mauer, entering his age 27 season, is the best player in baseball, at the position on the field that is hardest to fill. If you're lucky enough to draft that kind of asset, you don't let me him go. Elite players don't come cheap, so there's inherent risk in any mega-contract... if you want a star, that's just the price to play. But, given his age, past performance, marketability, and immeasurable value to the city/organization, I can't think of a better player to take the plunge for.

I also don't see a position change being imminent. Rather than forcing Mauer to learn a new position, I would think you could just gradually increase his number of days off/days at DH to extract as much value from the catching position as possible. Maybe he's strictly a DH by the end of the contract, but I heard for years that Piazza was finished as an everyday catcher and he lasted behind the dish until he was 37. Certainly, Mauer is a better pure athlete than Mike Piazza (a large man in his own right).

This is a good move for the Twins and, more importantly, a positive development for the sport.

Edit: And I'll predict an even 10/200
   77. Willie Mayspedester Posted: February 02, 2010 at 01:26 AM (#3452193)
How many catchers have ever hit .365 in a season?


According to baseball-ref .367 was the top and .365 was second most for a catcher in a season. So the top of his range is second best ever. I didn't realize that he led the league in BA SLG and of course OPS. Pretty good season.
   78. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 02, 2010 at 01:28 AM (#3452194)
That's not to say that 10 years for Mauer is necessarily a bad idea nor am I saying he wouldn't get a 10-year offer if he was an FA. There are presumably rare cases where a 10-year commitment is worth the gamble (ARod with the Rangers being the obvious example) and Mauer might be one of those cases.


I simply can't see him getting a 10 year deal on the open market, at least not at the prices we're talking about here.

7 years on the outside.

What is the most number of years a catcher has signed for?
   79. SteveM. Posted: February 02, 2010 at 01:29 AM (#3452196)
This is good for the game, proof that the Red Sox and Yankees can't just get every superstar. Or the Mets even one.
   80. tfbg9 Posted: February 02, 2010 at 01:36 AM (#3452201)
Congrats Twins fans. I am happy for you--your local boy stays local, good for you and him.
   81. Gamingboy Posted: February 02, 2010 at 01:37 AM (#3452202)
Or the Mets even one.


Has David Wrights status fallen that much just because he didn't hit so many dingers?
   82. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 02, 2010 at 01:39 AM (#3452204)
if you want a star, that's just the price to play. But, given his age, past performance, marketability, and immeasurable value to the city/organization, I can't think of a better player to take the plunge for.


I can, if we're talking about a ten year plunge: someone who isn't a catcher or a pitcher.

As for "immeasurable value to the city/organization," can we at least stay a little bit rational here? Here is how the Twins finished in AL attendance for each full season of Mauer's career:

YEAR: ATTENDANCE RANK (Finish in standings)

2005: 9th in attendance (3rd place in the standings)
2006: 9th (1st place)
2007: 10th (3rd place)
2008: 8th (2nd place)
2009: 5th (1st place)

They're not exactly setting attendance records - despite having good teams (which Mauer obviously is a big part of). They've generally been between 2 million and 2.5 million fans over the course of his career. Granted that's better than they'd generally been doing in the years leading up to Mauer. But they drew 3 million fans in 1988, the year after they won the WS. To listen to some people here, one would think that they're drawing that many fans for Mauer.
   83. Srul Itza Posted: February 02, 2010 at 01:52 AM (#3452207)
Any criticism of this deal is really mute


Not until you shut Ray up.
   84. Steve M. Posted: February 02, 2010 at 02:21 AM (#3452220)
I can, if we're talking about a ten year plunge: someone who isn't a catcher or a pitcher.

In last winter's market, Mark Teixeira pulled down 8/180. Preceding that deal, he had posted full-season wOBAs .345, .389, .405, .374, .406, .410 on the far right of the defensive spectrum. Assuming this deal begins in 2011, Joe Mauer would be a year younger relative to the beginning of his next contract, coming off full seasons of .344, .396, .354, .378, .438. Thus, comparable hitters (.385 v .389 career), but you could argue on the merits of his hitting ability alone, that Mauer is a more valuable offensive player than Teixeira (for 2010, ZiPS agrees by a wide margin). So even if Mauer becomes a 1B/DH tomorrow, 10/225 wouldn't be an absurd overpay for a player of Mauer's offensive ability-- a hitter who comfortably projects to have best OBA in the American League. Now, considering he is likely to catch for a considerable sum of those innings over the next 10 years-- and that the contract may very well be a lower AAV than Teixiera-- I think it's pretty clear Mauer's market value easily exceeds 10/200. Especially, with all of the usual suspects likely to be bidding.

Now, if you believe the risk of injury is prohibitively high, or the wear-and-tear will erode his hitting abilities, I guess there is an argument to be made. But Mauer is really, really good at getting on base and if he can be 80-percent the player he was last year for the next three or four seasons, his value would far exceed his salary. Adjust for inflation and I think betting on Mauer being worth ~$20 million as a hitter, at age 36 isn't nearly the worst gamble we've seen in the past few markets. And, obviously, his upside is that of an 8-9 win player.
   85. Something Other Posted: February 02, 2010 at 02:38 AM (#3452230)
Ray, this is a parade.

You're raining on it.
   86. tjm1 Posted: February 02, 2010 at 02:43 AM (#3452234)
I can, if we're talking about a ten year plunge: someone who isn't a catcher or a pitcher.


I agree. For a 10 year deal, Hanley Ramirez, who's younger and plays a position where there's less wear and tear on the body, and who had a better chance of being a good corner outfielder if he needs to move position, would be a better choice for a 10 year deal, for example.

YEAR: ATTENDANCE RANK (Finish in standings)

2005: 9th in attendance (3rd place in the standings)
2006: 9th (1st place)
2007: 10th (3rd place)
2008: 8th (2nd place)
2009: 5th (1st place)


It's a little misleading to give the finish in the standings in the division and the attendance rankings in the league. Last year, for example, the Twins had the fifth best record in the league. In 2008, they were 6th in the league in wins. In 2007, they were 8th in wins. Going back to 2006, they drew poorly compared to how they played.

Considering that they play in a smaller metropolitan area than the other good teams, their attendance has been quite good relative to their place in the standings, especially last year.

I think the real issue, anyways, is that it will be a blow to the morale of the fan base in MN if Mauer leaves. I suspect that will lead more to idle threats of people not going to any more games than to actual follow-through, but probably there will be at least a bit of each.
   87. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 02, 2010 at 02:44 AM (#3452235)
Omar'sBlackCloud Posted: February 01, 2010 at 08:38 PM (#3452230)
Ray, this is a parade.

You're raining on it.


Heh.
   88. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 02, 2010 at 02:55 AM (#3452243)
Ray, this is a parade.


I was thinking more along the lines of a cult.
   89. spycake Posted: February 02, 2010 at 03:05 AM (#3452255)
As for "immeasurable value to the city/organization," can we at least stay a little bit rational here? Here is how the Twins finished in AL attendance for each full season of Mauer's career:


The word "immeasurable" should have been a clue that the speaker wasn't talking about attendance figures.

I'll take a stab at explaining some things: if not for a beloved, hometown hero like Mauer, it is doubtful that the Twins would have gotten their new stadium when they did (which is very important, given the later economic downturn probably would have prevented it for many more years). The Vikings probably wish that Brett Favre was a Minnesota native! Otherwise they may not see a new stadium for some time either. And if the Twins let Mauer walk or traded him as the new stadium is opening, I'm guessing revenue projections for the place (conservatively estimated by the team as at least $20 million extra per season) wouldn't be quite so rosy. And given Mauer's special status in Minnesota, he will probably continue to be valuable in these ways even as his performance on the field diminishes.

And strictly looking at on-field performance, I don't know if Mauer can repeat 2009, but even if he doesn't, it's not as if the Twins have a good catcher ready to take his place. They easily project to be a contending club in their division for at least the next 3 years, if not longer, which Mauer's absence would significantly jeopardize. How much value is in a pennant race? Or a postseason appearance?

Tossing aside these benefits would save you ~$20 million in salary, minus some amount that Mauer generates himself, minus the amount that it would take to immediately acquire another big-league catcher, minus some amount for reduced chance of pennant races and postseason play... I really don't know if you would even be "saving" that much cash in the end. And what would you propose doing with that cash? Signing Chone Figgins? Lining the owner's pockets? I doubt a Mauer contract will affect how the Twins operate in the draft, in Latin America, or in player development in general. Frankly, I'm not seeing a lot of great alternatives for this money over the next few seasons.

The Twins don't throw money around freely; in fact, they are often criticized for not spending enough. So if/when this contract comes to fruition, I think I will give the Twins some benefit of the doubt, that they recognize the unique benefits they derive from a beloved hometown hero like Joe Mauer and what he means to their cherished bottom line.
   90. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 02, 2010 at 03:09 AM (#3452258)
And if the Twins let Mauer walk or traded him as the new stadium is opening, I'm guessing revenue projections for the place (conservatively estimated by the team as at least $20 million extra per season) wouldn't be quite so rosy.


I'm not so sure. Demand for seats in new ballparks is quite high.
   91. Banta Posted: February 02, 2010 at 03:13 AM (#3452262)
I agree with Ray. 10 years for a catcher, no matter who that catcher is, is pretty crazy. All but guarantees that Mauer will probably move off the position sooner than later too, which isn't great from a positional value standpoint.

That being said, if this is what Minnesota had to do to lock up Mauer, then it's a good move. I know that the city loves him and it stops the "teams can't keep their stars" storyline from being written over and over again. But it wouldn't be surprising if they have 5 years of this contract being a big, unmovable mess. To a team like the Twins, that could be pretty deadly.
   92.   Posted: February 02, 2010 at 03:15 AM (#3452265)

Rick DiPietro


Pretty sure every player in the NHL is on a 10-15 year contract at this point. I think it's mandatory.


The NHL salary cap rules have some oddities that make it sensible for teams to give guys ridiculously long contracts. I don't understand the details, but you definitely can't compare NHL to MLB in this respect.


This is true for many contracts -- teams will sign a a player in his early thirties to a contract that extends well after that player will retire, so as to front-load the deal and bring down the average salary (and, thus, the cap hit) -- but that doesn't really apply to DiPietro, whose contract really is 4M/year for 15 years.
   93. Torn_cuff (Special Ability Extra) Posted: February 02, 2010 at 03:17 AM (#3452267)
Well if Boras was his agent we would have gotten Minneapolis AND St. Paul...he should have gotten at least one.
   94. spycake Posted: February 02, 2010 at 03:19 AM (#3452268)
I think the real issue, anyways, is that it will be a blow to the morale of the fan base in MN if Mauer leaves. I suspect that will lead more to idle threats of people not going to any more games than to actual follow-through, but probably there will be at least a bit of each.


I know that this argument sounds a little esoteric, and that a lot of boycott threats would be idle, but I think there is some truth to this. I think attendance and ticket buying patterns could be greatly affected -- Mauer generates a lot of interest in and loyalty to the team, and hope for their competitiveness, leading to more season ticket reservations and advance ticket sales which are far more valuable than single-game walk-up tickets to the club. The same probably goes for corporate tickets and sponsorships.

The Twins probably have some leeway because they are the only pro sports game in town for the summer (sorry, WNBA), and they already have their new stadium. But with a weakened or just poorly-regarded team, Minnesotan fans could easily revert to their recent Metrodome attendance habits. If the new stadium and accompany season ticket / sponsorship levels were already well-established, this might be less of a risk; as it stands, I think the Twins have to be careful of it.
   95. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 02, 2010 at 03:20 AM (#3452269)
That being said, if this is what Minnesota had to do to lock up Mauer, then it's a good move. I know that the city loves him and it stops the "teams can't keep their stars" storyline from being written over and over again.


Yeah, good luck with all of that.

Since the storyline was always so much nonsense to begin with, as it is with pretty much every team, I don't know why we'd expect it would stop after Mauer is locked up.
   96. spycake Posted: February 02, 2010 at 03:22 AM (#3452271)
I'm not so sure. Demand for seats in new ballparks is quite high.


For one year. With Mauer in the fold. How many people renew next winter if Mauer is already gone, or if it looks like he will be gone? How many people take a "wait-and-see" approach to ticket buying, thus increasing the risk that one bad season could hinder the club financially?
   97. tjm1 Posted: February 02, 2010 at 03:24 AM (#3452273)
That being said, if this is what Minnesota had to do to lock up Mauer, then it's a good move. I know that the city loves him and it stops the "teams can't keep their stars" storyline from being written over and over again. But it wouldn't be surprising if they have 5 years of this contract being a big, unmovable mess. To a team like the Twins, that could be pretty deadly.


When the economy goes back up, salaries will start rising much faster than inflation again. When that happens, long contracts, even for players with declining value, can be good deals. A guy who hits like Mauer is, right now, probably a $22 million/year player on the free agent market as a first baseman. He had a better year than Teixeira last year, and if moved off catcher, would probably hit a little better. Even in a role like Mickey Tettleton in his early 30's, catching 50-70 games but playing almost every day somewhere, a hitter like Mauer is a hugely valuable player, and would be moveable. Now, if he loses something offensively and stops being able to catch everyday, then they could be in trouble.
   98. TLB Posted: February 02, 2010 at 03:25 AM (#3452274)
I'm not so sure. Demand for seats in new ballparks is quite high.


Tell that to the Nationals. They haven't exactly done all that well with their new stadium. Demand is likely to drop if Mauer is replaced with Sal Butera's kid.
   99. spycake Posted: February 02, 2010 at 03:27 AM (#3452275)
To the contract naysayers: do you think the Twins are just blindly committing a crazy sum here? Don't you think they have some knowledge of their revenue streams, how Mauer affects them, and how much they can afford to pay a guy like Mauer going forward?

I mean, I know that all contracts are not signed based on such reasoned logic, but it seems like the Twins should have a reputation by now as being pretty cautious and risk-averse. So why don't they get some benefit of the doubt on this thing?
   100. Wes Parkers Mood (Mike Green) Posted: February 02, 2010 at 03:36 AM (#3452277)
Mauer is in his own class. He's a significantly better hitter than Cochrane, Bench, Berra or any other catcher through age 26. He obviously has more value as a catcher, but it is pretty clear that he is going to be able hit enough after he moves to another position.
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