THURSDAY, 2:41pm: La Velle E. Neal III of The Star Tribune tweets that no serious negotiations about a contract extension have begun, and that "absolutely no deadlines have been set."
TUESDAY, 4:10pm: Mauer has been texting his heart out...in a text to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune last night, he said the Passan report is "news to me." Still, it'd be more direct if Mauer came out and said, "My agent and I did not give the Twins any kind of deadline."
1:59pm: Mauer texted MLB.com's Kelly Thesier but didn't exactly deny setting a deadline, saying:
"I'm not going to react to every story/rumor that comes out or comment on any negotiations. As far as that report, I don't know where that came from."
MONDAY, 11:25pm: Joe Mauer will end contract negotiations if he doesn't have a deal with the Twins by Opening Day next year, according to a Jeff Passan source said to be close to the catcher. In his Yahoo column, Passan also notes that "formal negotiations between the sides have yet to begin" despite the Twins' desire to have a deal by Christmas.
This is no time for Twins fans to panic, however. Passan believes talks will begin soon, and the sides have a full four months even if Mauer is imposing that deadline. It's way too early to predict Mauer's future, and I have a feeling Ron Shapiro and the Twins will keep leaks to a minimum.