Twins, Mauer Begin Contract Negotiations

The Twins have opened contract negotiations with Joe Mauer. Manager Ron Gardenhire told USA Today's Bob Nightengale that talks couldn't be going better with the catcher. Mauer's agent, Ron Shapiro, confirmed to Jon Heyman of that talks have begun, but cautions that "nothing is imminent." (Both links go to Twitter).

Mauer will hit free agency after this season if the Twins don't lock him up long-term. That's easier said than done for a small-market team, especially when we're talking about one of the best players in the world. Mauer doesn't turn 27 until April, but he already has three batting titles, two Gold Gloves and an MVP to his name. 

He led the league in batting average, OBP and SLG last year, maintaining his reputation as a strong defender and helping his club make the playoffs. He's under contract for $12.5MM this year, and he'll have the chance to sign for considerably more than $100MM if he hits the open market. 

53 Responses to Twins, Mauer Begin Contract Negotiations Leave a Reply

  1. But what about the Yankees and Red Sox? Who is going to be their catcher now? (sarcasm)

    • ultimate913 5 years ago

      Meh. I’ll play along. For the Red Sox, it’s probably V-Mart and Varitek with V-Mart catching most. and for the Yankees it’s probably Posada(unless he just completely breaks down defensively), catching about maybe 65 – 75% of the games while the other games go to Cervelli.

      • I even put sarcasm in parenthesis!

        • ultimate913 5 years ago

          Which is why I said “Meh. I’ll play along…”.

      • sploorp 5 years ago

        You’re absoulutely right!!! Oh my God!! I can’t believe I was so selfish – hoping the Twins would resign Mauer and soon. It never occurred to me that the Yankees or Red Sox might be forced to field a team with a player who isn’t an all-star.

        Kill the deal right now!!

        • ultimate913 5 years ago

          Dude, you’re aren’t making any sense. Did I even mention Mauer? Nope. I answered a question. and on top of that, he was being sarcastic. It was a joke. But you know what? I’ll play along…..YES! I KNOW!! Gosh. I’m getting tired of this .285 hitter at the plate. I want somebody who does .350+. Then Pujols for DH. Then Crawford for LF. Then trade Swisher straight up for Ryan Braun. That way fans can’t vote for the all star team anymore for the AL. It’ll just be the Yankees vs the NL all star team. Oh and how could I forget? We have to get Halladay so we should just trade Kei Igawa straight up for Halladay + cash considerations from the Phillies.

  2. TwinsTapir 5 years ago

    I just don’t get this. There are obvious advantages to both sides of sitting down and getting this process started in November, and yet they’re just doing it now?

    • bbxxj 5 years ago

      Mauer wanted the Twins to have time to put their team together before he engaged them full scale on an extention. There isn’t much of a rush so why bother the high ups when they have other, albiet les important, time sensitive things to do.

      • TwinsTapir 5 years ago

        I would say knowing what their 2011 payroll commitments are, and knowing whether they are able to trade Wilson Ramos, are two of the most important things to know when it comes to putting the rest of the team together. And probably have something to do with the half-assed job they’ve done.

        • TwinsVet 5 years ago

          Joe has made it pretty clear he wants to “be sure the Twins are committed to winning” before he extended.

          That means putting together the rest of the roster would have a direct impact on Mauer’s extension. Hence it needed to be be done first.

          This is also a big signal that the Thome move may be the last of the Twins offseason…

          • TwinsTapir 5 years ago

            “That means putting together the rest of the roster would have a direct impact on Mauer’s extension.”

            When did Smith announce that they intended to tender everyone? I’m pretty sure it was in October. That’s the only thing other than the Thome signing that has happened. So unless Mauer was waiting for them not to sign a big free agent, this is nonsense.

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            Hardy. Condrey. Letting Redmond walk. Settling with Pavano.

            There are plenty of things known now that weren’t back in October.

          • TwinsTapir 5 years ago

            The Hardy trade was November 6. We already knew Redmond wouldn’t be back by then. The Twins offered Pavano arbitration on December 1, but it was pretty obviously coming before that. And even if you want to date it from then that’s two months of nothing.

            Do you really think Clay Condrey has anything to do with anything?

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            For those of you at home, this is quite interesting. You see, TwinsTapir
            make a premature argument in claiming there’s no reason *not* to have
            extended Mauer in November. When presented with the publicly-stated facts
            that the Twins moves would be a factor in his extension, he felt
            embarrassed. But he’s already committed to the argument, so rather than
            saying, “I suppose that makes sense”, he doubles down.

            In the end, he’s left making these silly arguments that trading for a
            starting SS, offering an SP arbitration (and retaining him), signing a
            bullpen lefty, and signing a serious HR threat is “doing nothing”.

            It’s easy to stumble across postings like this and say, “Wow that’s

            But only upon careful dissection of how someone arrives there can we truly
            appreciate the depths of the stupidity.


          • TwinsTapir 5 years ago

            I will continue to say that the Twins have made no notable-to-Joe-Mauer moves since mid-November. The Hardy trade was already made. We already knew that they were going to offer Pavano arbitration and it was fairly clear he would accept, we already knew that they were going to tender all of their arbitration-eligible players.

            What has happened since mid-November is that they signed a bottom of the bullpen guy (Condrey is right handed, by the way) and an aging slugger who will almost certainly not be on the team in any of the years being discussed in the extension. Even Pavano probably doesn’t matter, as he’s not terribly likely to be around for 2011 either.

            In the end we’re left seeing that the very presumption that Mauer was waiting for the Twins to make roster moves that would be a factor in his deciding whether to remain with the team is ludicrous.

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            What obvious advantages were there in November?

            How do you know discussions didn’t begin then? Are you arguing the deal should have been closed last fall, instead?

            The deals we closed since November 1st speak nothing of the non-deals; the Twins may well have attempted to make additional moves to entice Mauer (we know at *least* Washburn and Kouzmanoff). You’re in an untenable position. Mauer wanted to allow the Twins to put together their 2010 roster before he made a long-term commitment, that’s common knowledge. And Mauer wants to be assured the Twins are committed to winning, that’s common knowledge.

            So the Twins are starting (or completing) serious negotiations with him after making some moves, attempting more, and demonstrating they’re willing to push a $100m payroll. It’s all perfectly logical, and perfectly in accordance with all the published reports.

            You, on the other hand, are advocating some alternate reality where the Twins screwed up by not signing him in November, for some unstated reason…

          • TwinsTapir 5 years ago

            What obvious advantages were there in November?

            For the Twins, having a clearer picture of the 2011 payroll is the big one. Obviously the ability to offer two-year contracts to Hudson or Lopez would make a fair bit of difference. And in the unhappy event of an impasse, they could have gone out and spent that money on a multiyear deal for Figgins or Beltre or Harden and used Mauer’s expiring, cheap contract as a means to putting a stellar team on the field this year. Secondarily, it would have allowed them to explore trading one of their biggest trade chips, Wilson Ramos.

            For Mauer, certainty, the ability to make a deal that involved tearing up his 2010 contract, and just not having to deal with it every time he talked to anyone this winter.

            How do you know discussions didn’t begin then?

            Um, at the top of this comments page, there’s a post, where “contract negotiations have opened” is presented as news. Maybe they’re all lying?

            The deals we closed since November 1st speak nothing of the non-deals; the Twins may well have attempted to make additional moves to entice Mauer (we know at *least* Washburn and Kouzmanoff).

            So now you’re arguing that Mauer was waiting for them to try to make moves? The perception of Bill Smith as a fraud who sits around on a pile of money smoking cigars like a cartoon fatcat is certainly popular in comment threads and blogs, but I think we can assume that Mauer has always been aware that he’s actually attempting to do his job.

          • JUDGE HORSE 5 years ago

            you composed that in a word processor and pasted it in the textbox, didn’t you? i call shenanigans.

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            Close. Replied via Gmail to the email notification of TwinsTapir’s response. And from my BlackBerry while sitting on the toilet, no less.

            Disqus: Empowering Power-Dump Rebuttals Worldwide.

    • upwithtwinkies 5 years ago

      I’m guessing that the Twins at least touched base with Shapiro this winter. What obvious advantages are you refering too? Mauer himself stated that he wanted to let the Twins work on he roster before he got real involved with his contract.

    • 0vercast 5 years ago

      Who knows the progress they’ve made. The deal could be pretty much agreed upon already, with the completion possibly depending on the Twins moves this offseason, or maybe they’ve just been waiting for Twins Fest. It starts today and goes thru the weekend. The Twins are known for announcing extensions and signings at this event, just like they did with Cuddyer and Morneau.

      Don’t be surprised if the announcement of an extension is tomorrow afternoon. I’ve been waiting months for Twins Fest, if only for an end to this drama.

      I wouldn’t be shocked if they announce the surprise signing of Hudson or O. Cabrera at the same time.

      • TwinsTapir 5 years ago

        With the leaks last week I was on board with it being likely there was a deal done and they were just waiting for TwinsFest to announce it, but today’s news seems to fly in the face of that. But maybe Gardy’s just using the excuse to be snarky, who knows.

      • pinkiepinkerton 5 years ago

        It sounds like Cabrera is gonna sign elsewhere. Maybe Hudson or Lopez would be a better guess.

        link to

    • sploorp 5 years ago

      What’s the rush? Mauer wants to stay and the Twins want to keep him. No other team can talk to him until after the 2010 World Series. Both sides have probably been talking here and there and most likely have a good idea what the other side wants. It shouldn’t take long at all to knock it out.

      Twins fans have been working themselves up into a lather for nothing.

  3. bbxxj 5 years ago

    Mauer signing long term with the Twins should happen, needs to happen and will happen.

  4. kimbr 5 years ago

    They needed to take care of their other business that had stricter time lines first. What does it matter when it gets done? It’ll get done.

  5. TwinsVet 5 years ago

    I’m curious for the pricetag numbers to start coming out.

    I love Joe (even though he kicked my tail in high school), but the old adage “all your eggs in one basket” does come to mind when we’re looking at committing 30% of our payroll to one guy…

    • CrisE 5 years ago

      I think the actual numbers will be interesting. My guess is 8/$165. It’s less than he makes on the open market but still a multi-generational life changing amount of money. Also, 30% is a ridiculous exaggeration, but I too have a habit of treating numbers as adjectives so I try to be fair to others when such things are said.

      • TwinsVet 5 years ago

        30% assumes the Twins go to a $100m payroll, and give Mauer $30m a year. Both figures are probably a bit high, granted, but I don’t think they’re too far from reality. I could easily see the Mauer deal landing him close to $30m/yr on the back-end.

  6. kphowes 5 years ago

    one of the best players in baseball, got to resign him, even if it might the payroll. you cant let him walk

  7. danks50 5 years ago

    They’ll get it done, the Twins have let to many stars go over the years. I’m fairly sure they don’t want to let go of their homegrown superstar and will probably pay around $20 mil a year to keep him in a Twins uniform.

  8. jhawk90 5 years ago

    Wow. Well if I was in his shoes I’d probably say something to the effect of “if you expect me to look up and see 2 of Punto/Tolbert/Harris starting in the INF on a regular basis, you can get in line and talk to me after the season”.

  9. Taskmaster75 5 years ago

    I do hope they resign him him. It would give me a lot of hope for Pujols (I think Pujols could make more than Mauer will, but the situation is somewhat similar).

    However, it is funny imagining the bidding war between the Sawx and Yankees.

  10. geolink2349 5 years ago

    Mauer making a mistake here.

    he can make the big bucks and be on a championship contending team elsewhere.

    • chaifetz10 5 years ago

      You must be a Yankee fan then. Let me guess, you think he and Pujols will sign with you next season…

      • geolink2349 5 years ago

        why? did the Alex Rodriguez avatar give you a clue, Sherlock?seriously and realistically, not being bias.wouldn’t you go to a team that’s offering you a lot more money and is a playoff contending team every year?(hence, why would Lebron sign with the Knicks if he can stay with a playoff contending team Cavs? money.)

        • CrisE 5 years ago

          The Twins have been going to playoffs for years. The money he’ll be offered is beyond anything his children will be able to spend. He can stay at home with his family and not put up with the crap that comes with bright-light media in places like BOS and NY. I think choosing to leave money on the table for a good reason is very defensible, doubly so if you’re still banking $150m or more. Roy Halliday just did something similar. It’s not as uncommon as you think.

        • yoder 5 years ago

          NO! Whats the difference between $20 mil and $30 mil? I would take less to play in front of family and friends 81+ times/year…plus the Twins are definitely a “playoff contending team”

      • ultimate913 5 years ago

        So because he stated that fact, he must be a Yankee fan? Cool. That’d be a pretty dumb guess to think he thinks that, considering the fact that the Cards have a team option for Pujols which they will surely pick up…

      • geolink2349 5 years ago

        double post.

    • Steelslayer 5 years ago

      A classic Hankee comment built on the inflated sense of entitlement that is similiar to that of children screaming for new toys when their toy chest is already full. I hope the Twins sign him for the rest of his career.

      • geolink2349 5 years ago

        If Mauer signs with the Twins, automatically I will be crying because I’m a fan of “the money hungry” Yankees? No.Mauer has been with the Twins his whole career, I haven’t been crying since 2004. Sure he’s a nice catcher (not Yogi Berra) but he’s nice and would be a great addition TO ANY TEAM.Please lay off the selfish comments, what are you a 13 year old? At no point during my original comment did I ever say he should sign with the Yankees (sure the Yankees are apart of the more money/championship contenders but there are enough of those teams in the MLB.)

        • Maximus_Mansteel 5 years ago

          Now this is a pet peeve of mine. Did you really just slight Mauer for not being Yogi Berra? First of all, Mauer is only 26, he still (most likely) has a long way to go, it is far, far too early to compare him to any Hall of Famer. Secondly, Mauer’s numbers so far compare well to Berra’s at the same age. Berra had a bit more power (Mauer sudden power surge last year makes one wonder if that will stay true), but Mauer has generally had a better BA and OBP. The three batting titles Mauer has is something not only Berra, but no other catcher has done.

          I don’t mean for this to come off as some kind of attack on Berra. The guy was a Hall of Famer through and through, no doubt. But its just completely asinine to compare a modern player who is so young to someone who played 19 years in the bigs. Mauer could flame out next year and fade away, or he could keep regularly putting up monster numbers like last year and end up dwarfing Berra’s accomplishments. It’s pointless to even try to predict what will happen. Let’s leave the comparisons aside until Mauer plays out his career and we can get some perspective.

          All that matters right now is that Mauer is certainly the best catcher in the game. It isn’t to say he will be at any time in the future, for we simply can’t know. I would say that Mauer is a bit more than a “nice” catcher, and there’s a decent possibility we are witnessing the development of a legend.

  11. disgustedcubfan 5 years ago

    As an outsider looking in, Mauer doesn’t seem like the kind of ego- maniac that would want to hold the Twins organization hostage. I don’t think he’s interested in creating a bidding war to drive his price up.
    Fair market value to stay with the Twins is enough to get him signed.
    With that said, I think 6 years/ 120-125 million is the low end of what he can get.

    • TwinsVet 5 years ago

      There was an interesting notion kicked around about an opt-out clause “if the team fell below .500 on any season”. Could be of mutual benefit – if they become a losing club, spending 25% or so on one player is certainly hurting them. And if they do, Mauer would likely want the chance to win elsewhere.

      An interesting notion, if nothing else…

  12. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    Somewhere.. Brian cashman and theo Epstein are crying.

    I love it. Nowhopefully pujols gets locked up soon as well..

  13. zanec 5 years ago

    I went to the tapping of Joe Mauer Homecoming. And he said he hates being in the spotlight. He loves Minnesota with a passion and he is not engaged. So I think he satys here

  14. The Twins should give Mauer an extension or else the Yankees will aggressively go for the their prize catcher.

    Still I prefer the Yankees aiming for a starting pitcher instead.

  15. loweenm 5 years ago

    I, like many of you, have been hoping to see this deal announced last December… but obviously we’re all still waiting. Looking on the positive side, one possible benefit to waiting until this spring to get the signing done is that the market looks worse (for players) now than it did right after last season. Other than Matt Holliday there are many guys who are getting a lot less than what they were expecting.

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      Holliday was expecting tex money ( 8/180) and settled for nearly 60 million less.. So I think everyone is a little dissapointed

  16. babalu769 5 years ago

    Mauer to the angels book that napoli will be traded or he can dh and mauer will be with torri hunter again. The angels will have a new franchise player after vlad.

  17. geolink2349 5 years ago

    why don’t you mind your own business English teacher?

    don’t you have papers to grade for Monday?

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