Finally!! (8 years, $184 million)

21 Mar

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Well, no one said it would be easy, but finally, just minutes ago, the Twins and Joe Mauer agreed to an eight year, $184 million contract extension. That means he will still make his $12.5 million contract in 2010 and then will be with the Twins through the 2018 season.

So, what do you think? Here are some random thoughts as I’m hearing the news now:

  • Happy Birthday to Kelly Thesier, but Mauer did not give you your request to let you enjoy your birthday. Now you have to work!
  • Several of us continued to tell people not to expect much of a hometown discount. He got a record $5.15 million signing bonus when he signed out of high school. He got a huge four year contract that bought out his first year of free agency, 2010. So we shouldn’t have expected him to give a hometown discount… We hoped.
  • He will make $23 million each year from 2011 to 2018.
  • That will be somewhere between 20 and 25 percent of the team’s salaries, generally not a good idea. However, despite the $23 million, there will still be another $80-90 million to spend each year. Of course, when you add up the contracts of Justin Morneau, Scott Baker, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, Joe Nathan and others, that $80 million could go quickly.
  • Joe Mauer missed a month of the 2009 season due to INJURY. He is a catcher. Believe me when I say, the RISK is entirely on the Twins in this deal. Don’t think for a minute that this is some sort of Twins-friendly deal.
  • Yes, this deal is more than just about baseball, but from a purely baseball aspect, it isn’t a great deal.
  • Fourth highest contract in baseball history… Anyone still want to call the Twins cheap?
  • Jim Thome, Orlando Hudson, JJ Hardy were all nice, but many Twins fans held the entire success of the offseason on the Mauer contract being signed. That is now complete. I again would like to encourage people to send Bill Smith, Rob Antony and others an apology letter. The Twins will and should get a A grade for their offseason.
  • It will be interesting to see how Twins fans treat Mauer at this point. What happens when he goes 0-12 in a three game series? What happens when he jogs down to first base on a ground out to second, as he always does? What is going to happen when certain big name free agents have to be let go because of this signing?
  • Twins fans will be thrilled today, and for a couple of years, the Twins fans will have to accept that this signing means that they won’t be keeping other players.
  • NO, they should not trade Wilson Ramos, at least not for something as insignificant as a relief pitcher like Heath Bell!

Alright, now this is finally done… what are your thoughts? Too much? Fair market? What does it mean?

If you would like, you can e-mail me, or feel free to leave your comments here.


14 Responses to “Finally!! (8 years, $184 million)”

  1. JA March 21, 2010 at 5:32 pm #

    Hi Seth,
    Great news! Fair market, below market, above market it just does not matter today. They drafted, developed, one the best atheles in professial sports and today they made the long term commitment to their organization, and the fans

  2. TT March 21, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    This is a good deal for both sides. Mauer will make the Twins a lot of money. There will be loud-mouthed fans who complain about his contract everytime he disappoints them, but they would have complained regardless.

    Mauer is a catcher. He is also a batting champion who is going to hit close to 30 HR every year. And the Twins bought his prime years. Had Mauer/Twins waited another year, its likely he would have had a lot better offers than this from other teams. That isn’t to say he gave the Twins a discount, but that the cost certainty he gave them does have value and he left some money on the table.

    As for Ramos, I think he will spend the year at AA and AAA and hopefully show he can stay healthy. Durability trumps ability and he needs to show he can catch a full season without getting hurt. And that his bat doesn’t suffer in the process. He’s four years younger than Mauer. If he is as good as people think, the two of them sharing catching/DH duties may extend both of their careers behind the plate.

    I agree, trading him for a reliever would be a huge mistake. Its really not clear Bell is any better than Jon Rauch or Matt Guerrier or Jesse Crain. He just got a chance to close last year.

  3. Ibn March 21, 2010 at 6:44 pm #

    I really doubt this will cripple the team much…

    It’s only 10.5 million more than he was already getting. If you drop Punto’s 4 million, lose Delmon’s 2.6 million, Clay’s 900k, they only need to save 3 million more to get back to this seasons finances.

    Replace clay with delaney or slama, and punto with tolbert. Revere would look good in left next year. Maybe drop Crain next year, then your back to even. 🙂

  4. Funkytown March 21, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    Don’t forget, Pavano probably done after his 7 mill deal this year.

    Joe Benson with a double today. If he comes on strong, Revere could EASILY be dealt at some point.

    Rauch is 3 mill, Guerrier is 3 mill, Crain 2 mill.

    Some others can be hand to replace 1 or 2 of these guys next year too.

  5. Whiz Kid March 21, 2010 at 7:24 pm #

    I predict 3-4 more years of Mauer at catcher, then he transitions to first base when Morneau’s contract is up after the 2013 season, allowing the Twins to let Morneau walk. Maybe even trade Morneau after the 2012 season to recharge with some young talent. With Ramos waiting in the wings, we could be set for another 5 years with him at catcher.

  6. Doug March 21, 2010 at 7:36 pm #

    I don’t think they had a choice and with that said it is below market value. However, it is a huge part of their payroll (think Todd Helton) but I think Mauer’s upside and potential is higher than Helton so I am good with it.

  7. JimCrikket March 21, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

    If you have a $60 million payroll and pay one guy 25% of that ($15 million), that’s a problem. But $23 million when your payroll is likely to be above $100 million for the length of the contract isn’t nearly as problematic. Yes, there will be some guys they won’t be resigning, but every team lets a few guys go every year. The somewhat above average players are routinely replaced by young talent. That’s not a bad thing.

  8. JimCrikket March 21, 2010 at 7:56 pm #

    By the way, Seth… I wouldn’t be surprised if you got a call/email tonight from a guy I loaned my “Prospect Guide” to this morning on the Twins minor league complex. He was wondering how quickly I thought you could get a copy down here to him! (I gave him one of the business cards you included with the Guide when you mailed it.)

  9. Mike March 21, 2010 at 8:41 pm #

    Awesome! The offseason grade this morning: B. This evening: A+.

  10. Mark March 22, 2010 at 8:50 am #

    Could either Mauer or Ramos be moved to third base in a year or two? How about trading Moralles, right now his value is probably at its peak. Him and Perkins might make a nice package.

  11. whistler1217 March 22, 2010 at 8:53 am #

    For the last few years, we’ve seen our young, good guys getting better and better, while it seemed that ownership just wanted to be good not great. We lost Hunter and Santana and I questioned if management would every take a real shot at a world series. Well now “the pieces are in place.” We can’t really rag on the Pohlads for a few years because they’ve done just about all they can. They spent the money, signed quality vets, and signed the star. WE’RE COMINNNNNNNNNNNN…….

  12. mike wants wins March 22, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    Ramos should come up. If Mauer is the catcher for the next 5 years, why would anyone just leave him down in the minors to rot? No one would. so, the question is, “will bringing him up no hold him back in 2-3 years?”. The question also is “when Mauer rests, do you want Butera to give you 4-5 outs, or Ramos to give you 3-4 outs?”. I know how to answer both, I think. This team should be trying to win games.

    As for the contract, this team used to be cheap, but stopped as the stadium got closer to opening. They are doing what they said they would do, keeping their players now. As I posted on the Strib site, they should have plenty of room to have other players on the roster, some $80-90MM. IF they stop their obsession with terrible veterans over better, cheaper minor leaguers, they should have plenty of space on the payroll.

  13. Jeff March 22, 2010 at 9:27 am #

    While I am glad they signed him, and being a great PR move, and well worth it for the next couple of years, the long term at $23 mil per scares me a little. Is Mauer worth that amount in RF or 1B when he is 35? Does anyone think he will still be catching in year 8 of this deal?
    Gleeman brings up on his blog that very few $100+ million deals actually work out well for the team that signed them, and this is by far the biggest risk the Twins have ever taken as an organization. Right now the Bill Smith and the front office get a A for this office season, going into 2010, but what do we think that grade will be when we look back at this off season in 2016? Will this be the off season that propells the Twins to elite level/World Series contender status for the next 10 years, or will it be the year before the Mauer deal handcuffs them for the next 8?

  14. scot March 24, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    Pavano, Thome, Hudson, and Punto should all be gone next year so there $17M gone. DY is do or die this year but needs to play so Twins can see if he is worth keeping. Nathan/Cuddy will be gone after 2012 so theres another $20M off the books. Twins had to sign Joe, would have been a PR nightmare if they had not.

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