Sunday, March 21, 2010

Minnesota Twins Resign Hometown Hero Joe Mauer

According to, the Minnesota Twins have resigned Joe Mauer to a eight-year $184 million contract which will run through 2018, an average of $23 million a year. This contract includes a full no-trade clause. The reason for the no-trade clause is probably because Mauer doesn't want trade ideas to swirl around later in his career. This way Mauer can be assured he will be in Minnesota for at least another eight years. The contract will last until he is 34, so this contract will go right through his prime years.

This contract was probably made to be compared to Mark Teixeira's eight-year, $180 million contract signed last year with the New York Yankees. This is the fourth highest contract in MLB history, behind Derek Jeter ($189 million with the New York Yankees) and Alex Rodriguez ($275 million with the Yankees and $252 million with the Texas Rangers).

This is a very expensive contract for the Minnesota Twins to give Joe Mauer as this takes up over 20% of the Twins' payroll. The Yankees have a lot more money to spend than the Twins, so seeing the Twins spend this kind of money is a little surprising. The reason the Twins did it though is because they almost had to. If the Twins did not resign Joe Mauer, there would have been many very unhappy taxpayers considering they just spent a lot of money on Target Field. Fans also wanted Mauer to stay because he was born in Minnesota, making him an idol to baseball fans (including kids) throughout Minnesota. The front office of the Twins needed to keep the fans happy, and they did.

There are also a lot of new season ticket holders and the Twins would like to keep them while upgrading the smaller season ticket packages such as the 20-game and 40-game programs. Losing Mauer would likely have had a very negative effect on retention and upgrading.

Joe Mauer had a line of .365/.444/.587 with 28 home runs and 96 RBIs in the 2009 season. Not only did he lead the American League in BA, OBP, and Slugging, but he also racked up his 3rd batting title in 4 years and his 1st MVP award. Defensively he was spectacular, earning himself his 2nd gold glove in as many years. At just 26 years old, Mauer can still get better.

Joe Mauer is by far the best catcher in baseball right now, and is starting to turn into one of the best of all-time. He is a team leader and for many, the face of the Minnesota Twins franchise.

This contract may look large, but the Twins cannot pass up the opportunity to keep one of the best catchers of all-time.