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The Twins have the dough to sign Mauer. They should do it ASAP.

Sep 1, 2009, 10:20 AM EDT

Twins’ president David St. Peter is telling the Pioneer Press that, yes, the money is there:

Joe Mauer, the Twins all-star, Gold Glove winner and batting champion, can become a free agent after next season. Negotiations will begin after this season.

Will the Twins be able to afford Mauer?

“Yeah, we can afford him,” team President Dave St. Peter said.

Is Mauer eager to get a new deal done?

“I haven’t even thought about it,” Mauer said. “I’ve got enough on my plate right now trying to win a ballgame.”

That last quote is the most interesting in that it strongly suggests that Mauer, like a lot of players, is not going to want to be negotiating during the 2010 season. What that means is that, for all practical purposes, the Twins need to extend Mauer this offseason and no later lest (a) distrating and morale-killing trade rumors start flying next summer; or (b) Mauer has the oppotunuty to solicit offers from others next fall.

The smart money still has Mauer staying in his hometown, but if it gets to be spring training and nothing is done, the odds will begin to drop.  The Twins don’t need the hassle, the bad P.R. or the spectre of the Red Sox or someone driving up the price.  They need to get a long term deal done for Mauer this winter.

(link via MLBTR)

  1. Brian - Sep 1, 2009 at 10:45 AM

    I would be truly shocked if they didn’t get something done this offseason. The PR hit would be MASSIVE with the new taxpayer funded stadium and promises that it would help make the team more competitive. Mauer is the most popular Twin locally, and it’s really not that close.

  2. Grant - Sep 1, 2009 at 10:47 AM

    I’d guess that he’s the most popular Twin nationally, too. Heh.
    I suspect they’ll get the job done. Like Brian says, with the new stadium they pretty much have to.

  3. Don O'Connor - Sep 1, 2009 at 11:42 AM

    If ever there was a reason(s)to re-sign a pro-baseball player for exorbitant millions of dollars a season, the Twins’s Joe Mauer has correctly supplied and answered all the currently known ones. Be it character, ability, family or history or whatever other criterion you use, Joe has embellished all current or popularly accepted measuring formulae.
    I hope his intelligence and sense of self keeps him playing in front of family, friends and home town admirers for many more years.
    Thanks, so far, for making us so proud of you, Joe!

  4. Bill@TDS - Sep 1, 2009 at 12:02 PM

    I wouldn’t be shocked, but I’d be very disappointed if they didn’t get it done this offseason. The expectation everywhere else seems to be that Mauer will wait and test the open market, but I don’t think that makes sense for him (assuming the Twins are going to negotiate seriously).
    So the Twins come in with a very, very high number–not one that it’s inconceivable for the Sox or Yanks to beat, but one that would make him one of the three or so highest-paid players in baseball as of that moment.
    Say for a moment that he has no special connection to his hometown and kind of likes the idea of going to New York or Boston. Even then, he’s (or more accuratly his agent’s) got to know that his value will never be higher. He’s not likely to hit .350-.380 again in 2010. And of course he could get injured in 2010 and miss out on half or all of it. So, faced with getting a little less than he MIGHT earn on the open market guaranteed right now or taking a chance on getting that little bit more after another 125 or so catcher games have done their number on his knees and back, I don’t think there’s any way you take the gamble.
    And it makes sense for the Twins. Given the hometown love factor and the second-year-in-the-new-place factor, he’s worth more to them than he could be to any other team. It just makes too much sense for both sides.
    May be wishful thinking.

  5. clay - Sep 1, 2009 at 1:21 PM

    If Mauer wants to win a World Series he won’t resign with the Twins.

  6. Greenie - Sep 1, 2009 at 2:01 PM

    @Clay
    I am sick of the sentiment coming from people as if to say that only the big-east-coast-west-coast-power-house-deep-pocket-teams are ever even permitted to even dream about the notion of the possibility of maybe winning a championship.
    Of couse you are welcome to your opinion…
    but far be it from the Twins organization to try and put together a competitive – dare I say championship – team consisting of two of the best ofensive players in baseball in Mauer and Morneau and one of the best closers in Nathan and building around them. In fact by your logic (or lack thereof) it would be futile anyway so they should just give up and trade all of their players away for high A prospects.
    Look at Santana. He didn’t sign with the Twins, was traded and he is going on year two of loserdom in NY. There’s no certain thing.

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