Yesterday the Twins decided to avoid having the elephant in the locker room all season long, and locked up their free agent to be and Minnesoootan God, Joe Mauer. He signed there with a no trade clause for the next 8 years for the generous hometown discount of $184 million. Locking up far and away the best catcher in the game doesn’t seem like a bad idea. It’s been highly debated if it’s worth using that much of the franchises total salary on one player. At first I thought it was pretty bold maneuver tying up all that money in one player, but after looking at it further there were some other factors that left me feeling like this was a good move for the Twins.
Getting this deal done well before he was a free agent most likely did get them a discount, believe it or not. If they had held off on the contract talks until the off season, they may have had to pony up an A-Rod type salary ($275 million) to keep him in a Twins uniform, and it would’ve been a distraction all year long. The Twins shifted from their normal MO of letting star players go via free agency, and signing one of their home grown talent must coincide with the grand opening of their new stadium, which looks pretty cool I must admit. It’s been reported that Minnesota’s payroll could hit the $100 million mark as soon as next season pushing them out of the small market team division. If they get five solid seasons out of Mauer behind the plate, and throw him on first base for those last few. He could be winning multiple batting titles. If it pans out that way, the Twins would sign the contract twice over. He could also be the next Eric Chavez, but I hope not for his sake. Will he stay healthy? Who knows, I’m not Nostradamus. My question to the league is, when are the A’s going to get their new stadium built? We were so close, and it fell off the table. We really want to sign some players to ridiculous contracts too!