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The Twins aren't going to trade Joe Mauer for a closer

Mar 11, 2010, 10:25 AM EDT

Mauer bat.jpgNature abhors a vacuum and apparently baseball writers abhor a lack of news:

Mauer still has more leverage than Pat Williams on a teeter-totter,
but as negotiations have lagged, Mauer’s hesitancy to accept a
record-setting contract offer from his hometown team has made his
signing less than a sure thing and raised this previously unthinkable
question:

“Won’t the Twins have to trade him if he refuses their best offer?” . . .

 . . . a combination of modern baseball logic and Twins history
suggests that if the Twins’ decision-makers can’t sign Mauer, they will
be obligated to trade him . . . A trade could yield a closer to replace Joe Nathan and would protect
the franchise in the future from having one player on their roster
consuming 20 to 25 percent of their payroll, a formula that rarely
works in baseball.

Joe Mauer for a closer?  Well, you drive a hard bargain, Twins, but I suppose Theo Epstein may bite the bullet and trade, say, Jonathan Papelbon for him.  OK, Papelbon and a second or third tier minor league catcher to fill your organizational needs, but that’s his final offer.

Back here in the real world, the only thing trading Joe Mauer will “protect” the Twins from is from having to make ushers wipe down the upper deck seats before home games, what with the fact that no fans will ever show up to sit there.

The Twins are almost certainly going to sign Joe Mauer. If they don’t, they’d be better off simply letting him walk while engaging in kabuki theater to make everyone think that he was the bad guy than shipping him out for what, at this point, wouldn’t be quite the haul everyone thinks it might be.

  1. Brian Cashman - Mar 11, 2010 at 11:19 AM

    Hughes, Chamberlain and Jesus Montero for Mauer.

  2. Bill Smith - Mar 11, 2010 at 12:08 PM

    Deal.

  3. Trevor B - Mar 11, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    Silly fool, why would the Yankees trade so much away for a 26 year old catcher who is at the end of his contract if it is obvious he won’t resign when they can easily just throw $35 million for 6-8 years. Trust me, Twins won’t be able to get THAT much if they trade Mauer just for the mere fact that his contract is nearing its end.

  4. Evan - Mar 11, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    Jim Souhan is such an idiot.

  5. Dubious Dan - Mar 11, 2010 at 12:46 PM

    “Trust me, Twins won’t be able to…”
    .
    Trust you? Do people in these parts know and respect you well enough to know that when you say something, it should be considered coming from a reliable source?

  6. Old Gator - Mar 11, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    I doubt that, aside from the occasional illegal alien Eskimo from Nunavut who is already inured to freezing his nates off and figures that the average Homeland Security agent isn’t bright enough to look up, anyone would be crazy enough to sit in the upper deck of that open air icebox until May and after August anyway. Hell, they might as well serve muktuk and velveeta sandwiches at the concession stands up there.

  7. Joey B - Mar 11, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    That’s all well and good, but if they can’t afford him, they can’t afford. In which case, he’ll be traded. Your choices would be to take two draft choices, which the fans will hate, or take 3-4 top-100 prospects, which the fans will hate. But if he wants $28M, then the Twins have no shot.

  8. Trevor B - Mar 11, 2010 at 3:34 PM

    I’m not top Twin’s brass or MLB brass Dan, but any fool will know that most great players nearing the end of their contract won’t exactly give steller trade offers because of the nearly expired contract. Look at the awesome players the Twin’s got for Johan Santana when his contract was near its end and they knew they couldn’t resign him. Best thing we got out of that… Carlos Gomez, look how great he sucks. Yes, Gomez had TONS of potential, but he was still mostly a prospect.

  9. Robert - Mar 12, 2010 at 9:17 AM

    We also have to consider that it appears the twins are willing to go above slot in the draft (see Gibson, Kyle) so taking the draft picks might not be a terrible idea. Consider the haul they will get for 1 season (or less) of mauer won’t be all that good. but they will sign him, so its a moot point.

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