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The Yankees won't make a serious play for Mauer even if he's available

Mar 18, 2010, 9:29 AM EDT

I had some fun tweaking fans of small market teams with that scout’s quote about the Yankees and Joe Mauer yesterday, but RAB’s Joe Pawlikowski is having none of that:

As it stands, the Yankees have $144 million locked into the 2011 payroll before they work out contracts for Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. They’ll also have arbitration cases for Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes. In other words, they could be near $185 million for just 13 players — and that doesn’t include Javy Vazquez or Andy Pettitte. At that point they’d probably need at least one starting pitcher. Other needs could crop up during the season, including left field.

In light of that, Joe says, and in light of the fact that they’ll still have Jorge Posada under contract and have no fewer than four catchers in their system who could succeed him, why on earth would the Yankees commit $200 million or whatever it is to Mauer?

And I think he’s right. I know many of you will scoff at the notion of the Yankees having a budget, but they do apparently have one now. And even if it’s a budget so large as to make the term close to meaningless, the Yankees have shown these past few years that they’re not going to sign a guy just to sign a guy. They’ll sign for need — look for Carl Crawford in the Bronx next year, and there’s always room for another pitcher — but they won’t triple or quadruple up on something they already have.

Most likely scenario: Mauer stays in Minnesota. If not: the Yankees feign interest in order to annoy the Red Sox or Mets or whoever, but ultimately don’t bite on Joe Mauer.

  1. YankeesfanLen - Mar 18, 2010 at 9:45 AM

    We did have fun in the peanut gallery yesterday. Since everyone has to do stats, an informal tally:
    Positive (for Universe): 27
    Negative: 14
    Neutral: 13
    How many were like mine that were there to goad the small market guys is why I like the style of hangin’ here.
    Jesus Montero is the new Derek Jeter.
    Joba will not be 5th starter
    There will be another CC in 2011, if not sooner

  2. Charles Gates - Mar 18, 2010 at 10:02 AM

    Cashman will stay involved long enough to make someone else over pay for the side burns.

  3. Ron Cramer - Mar 18, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    What kind of medication does it take to make anyone feel like the Yankees won’t go after ANY big time free agent?????

  4. Brian - Mar 18, 2010 at 11:17 AM

    If Jeter and Mariano wanted $14M a year each, would Yankee fans accept letting them go if it meant they could have Mauer? I think the rational Yankees fan would have to. Mauer would be a once in a lifetime free agent catcher.

  5. Charles Gates - Mar 18, 2010 at 11:30 AM

    That’s a very intersting question.
    From a purely on-the-field perspective, is Mauer + replacement SS + replacement CL greater than Old Posada/Montero + Aging Jeter + Eternally Young Mo’? Obviously, this depends a lot on the replacements, but the Yankees do have a budget, and I’d guess that the replacements would provide less contribution than Jeter and Rivera would.
    From a fans/marketing perspective, this move could be devastating. A significant percentage of NYY fans believe in things like ‘True Yankees’ and ‘The Yankee Way.’ Both Jeter and Mo’ are true embodiments of these concepts, whether they be real or a construct of marketing. I would suspect that fan turnout would actually go down if these two departed in such cutthroat, non loyal way. That would be the short term financial impact. On a longer timeline, this type of player-team severance would severely inhibit their ability to capitalize on their HOF inductions as, I surmise, both Jeter and Rivera would be less willing to do Yankee public appearances etc. if they were discarded.

  6. Yankmychain - Mar 18, 2010 at 11:43 AM

    1. Ron Cramer is a dopey yankee hater; what about Matt Holliday, John Lackey, and Roy Halladay this year alone.
    2. Mauer is a great talent, but his ’09 numbers are the exception to what his career has been. Don’t expect 28 HR’s every year and he’s never knocked in 100. Perennial .330 hitter but a little overhyped right now.
    3. The current Yankee C prospects are legit. Montero can flat-out hit and Romine has all-around potential

  7. gail - Mar 18, 2010 at 1:06 PM

    185MM for 13 players, and these dopes think Cashman is a great GM. If they had Minnesota’s budget right now with Mauer, they’d never see the playoffs, yet the Twins are competitive every year. I’m not a Twins fan, just amazed that Yankee fans think their front office can evaluate talent versus just paying top dollar for proven players. They’re not even smart enough to realize Jaba and Hughes should be in the pen versus even thinking about either of them as a #5. No wonder that it took them 10 years to win….and drop the 27 or 28 WS titles. Anything pre-Industrial Revolution doesn’t count….

  8. Charles Gates - Mar 18, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    Jaba and Hughes should be in the pen versus even thinking about either of them as a #5.
    I would love to hear your justification for this.

  9. Jason - Mar 18, 2010 at 2:26 PM

    The Twins can’t afford Joe Mauer, period. Even if they do sign him the contract will become an Albatross for the Twins organization faster than Alex Rodriguez’s contract became one for the Texas Rangers after they signed him for 10 years, $252 million. That’s about what Joe Mauer will get and there’s just no way the Twins can do it long term. They’re better off trading him and getting something back. I know how romantic the idea of Mauer staying in Minnesota is, but it’s not realistic under the current financial rules MLB has.

  10. Frank - Mar 18, 2010 at 2:36 PM

    Do you really expect anyone to believe the Yankees will let prospects get in the way of signing Joe Mauer? Signing players like Mauer is what the Yankees do. The only prayer Yankee haters like gail have is if Mauer doesn’t want to be a Yankee.

  11. J. McCann - Mar 18, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    The Sawx have their pennies saved.
    If he makes it out into the open, they will definitely grab him.

  12. yankeesrule27 - Mar 18, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    Did you ever stop to think about all the money the Yankees pay back to the Twins and other so called “small market” teams in revenue sharing? I’m so tired of all the crap the Yankees and other larger market teams get about payroll when all the owners of the Twins and others do is pocket the 10s of millions that they get from revenue sharing. If the Twins wanted to increase their revenue they could, evidently they got the Twin Cities to kick in for a new ballpark. They Yankees built their own (with a few sweet deals from the City but NYC didn’t foot the bill).
    On the championship note, let’s just look at the Steinbrenner tenure which I’m sure can be agreed upon as post industrial revolution (I won’t even go into how stupid that remark is to someone who evidently has no concept of history or baseball), but since George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees in 1973, they’ve gone to the WS 11 times and won 7. Not a bad winning record if you ask me and all surprisingly enough post industrial revolution and most in the last 2 decades. Being that the team moved to NYC in 1903 and didn’t get to a WS until 1921 with the first title coming in the first year of the new Stadium in 1923, I’d say all 27 titles are post industrial revolution unless you consider the 1940s-50s ancient times.
    Just a thought but if you want to comment on something get a clue before making yourself out to be any a bigger idiot than you already seem. The Yankees and their fans can’t help it if your team sucks.

  13. gail - Mar 18, 2010 at 3:00 PM

    Not a Yankee hater, just realistic. You think they’ll let Jeter go? 0% chance, so why even mention it? He had the season of a lifetime last year, so if he wants 20+MM, he should get it based on Yankee economics, which is pay anyone anything they want. Look at Tex…he got 15MM more than anyone else offered. Same with CC, where they upped the offer before there was even a counter. That’s why Cashman is like an ATM with no limit, with zero business sense. Maybe Yankee fans think Hal or Hank has a clue, even though I don’t even think Hank made it past 10th or 11th grade. Why put Jaba AND Hughes in the pen? Because if the Yankees score 5-6 runs/game, the starters only need to get through 5-6 innings and then you bring in both of those and Mariano. Also, Jaba isn’t close to what he was, and has lost a few miles/hour on the fastball. His ERA will never be south of 4.50. Talk with some realisism versus thinking about every all-star player should be playing for NY…

  14. Big Harold - Mar 18, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    “If they had Minnesota’s budget right now with Mauer, they’d never see the playoffs, yet the Twins are competitive every year. ”
    Really?? If the Yankees played in the Twins divison they win 115 games everyear.
    I like most Yankee fans I know hope that Mauer stays with the Twins but if it becomes clear the Twins can’t afford him, then all bets are off. The Yankees saying that they don’t have interest in Mauer reminds me of their lack of interest in Teixeira, .. look how that played out. I don’t think they’ll stay interested to annoy the Red Sox, I think they’ll swoop in and take him from the Red Sox thereby writing a new chapter in the Red Sox guide for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
    “….and drop the 27 or 28 WS titles. Anything pre-Industrial Revolution doesn’t count…”
    And as for World Series; its 27 going on 28, 5 in the last 15 years and 7 under the current owner with 4 additional WS appearances. No other team is even close to that in any time frame.

  15. gail - Mar 18, 2010 at 3:18 PM

    The twins get about 20MM/year in revenue sharing, so now they get to spend 30% of what the Yankees will spend once Jeter and Jaba sign, if they even want Jaba by then. Concerning championships, if one team in the NBA had LeBron, Kobe, Duncan, etc, etc,etc…., I would expect they would do much better than 11 appearances in over 35 years. Just like a Yankee fan to have zero common sense. Stop drinking the kool-aid and try and have an original thought versus thinking what they tell you to think….

  16. gail - Mar 18, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    Win 115 games in the Twins division? Why? Other than Boston, which is a split of roughly 18 games, who is the big hitter in the East? The Rays have had one decent year where they won 90, and were terrible before and after. You’d rather play Detroit and the White Sox instead of Toronto and Baltimore? You think that will ADD to the win total? Once again, no clue….just keep regurgitating what everyone else says…..

  17. Geek - Mar 18, 2010 at 6:57 PM

    The same kind of medication that let the Yankees permit Matsui and Damon walk. If the Yankees see a player that is a critical they will spend the money and they can afford to do so. Wouldn’t you like to run a business where you can afford to make good investments? I feel sorry for those teams who can barely attract 2 million fans. The reality is the Yankees do not need Mauer, they have excellent catching prospects

  18. Rays fan - Mar 18, 2010 at 11:17 PM

    “Stop drinking the kool-aid”
    .
    Please stop using the tired, ESPN-driven trivialization of the Jonestown mass murder-suicide. Please. Really.

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