Mauer’s Agent Arrives At Twins’ Camp

As expected, uncovering details on the Joe Mauer extension talks has proven difficult.  Still, La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune learned that Mauer's agent Ron Shapiro arrived at Twins' camp in Fort Myers, Florida.  Neal explains:

While it's being shaped as Shapiro's annual visit to spring training, the sides are expected to hold face-to-face discussions about the future of the Twins' MVP catcher.

In a slightly pessimistic note, Neal speaks of "indications that progress has slowed recently."  But don't worry Twins fans, SI's Jon Heyman (Twitter) and ESPN's Buster Olney both speak of optimism about these talks.  Neal still contends that no deadlines have been set.  Yahoo's Jeff Passan reported on November 30th that Mauer "plans on ending contract negotiations if a deal isn't struck by the end of spring training."

Tom Tango of Inside The Book recently tackled Mauer's value in an ESPN article, and determined that somewhere between $145-176MM would be appropriate for eight years.


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40 Comments on "Mauer’s Agent Arrives At Twins’ Camp"


sonofkenny
5 years 6 months ago

What “indications?” The only previous “indications” were unsibstantiated reports from the media? The only slow down has been in the number of new rumors coming from reporters.

TwinsVet
5 years 6 months ago

Boston also camps in Ft. Myers.

Just sayin.

sonofkenny
5 years 5 months ago

Twins let Mauer go to Boston or New York Target Field will be a ghost town for some time to come…

TwinsVet
5 years 5 months ago

Depends. If Mauer walks, and the Twins continue to win, they’ll keep fans in the seats.

If he stays, and they win, fan support stays about how it is now.

If he walks, and they lose, fan support will disappear.

If he stays, and they lose (likely because they can’t field a team around him at his cost), fan support will erode.

So what’s the conclusion? They need to win to keep fans, and they’ll lose fans if they don’t win. Period. Hence, the Mauer extension needs to be made based on “what makes us the best ballclub”, and not “how much do the fans love Joe Mauer?”

sonofkenny
5 years 5 months ago

They have been winning…it’s about taking it to the next level. Fans are getting spoiled…making the playoffs is almost becoming expected…they need to make it to the Series…no way they do that without Mauer…if Mauer walks you will see a very strong initial reaction…probably lose many of the season ticket holders they have gotten, lower attendance…if they start winning some of that may come back, but it is gonna impact them negatively for at least a couple of years. Add to that the negative publicity in the media precisely when they are opening a brand new tax-payer funded stadium…and the lost revenue that could be accrued from Mauer’s huge popularity increasing the popularity of the Twins brand…letting him go t save 1 or 2 million a year would seem like a dumb business move!

TwinsVet
5 years 5 months ago

But if they keep him and lose, they’re not any better off.

And it’s not a matter of saving “1 or 2 million a year”. We’re looking at $15-25 million a year, for alot of years.

At some point, it becomes impossible to field a competitive major league franchise if one player is taking up 30% of your payroll. Look at Rodriguez with Texas – or if you want some Minnesota reference, Garnett with the Timberwolves. The $25 million for Mauer equates to two ace pitchers – Are the Twins better served with a Lee-Hernandez-style 1-2 pitching staff, or a catcher/DH? $25 million in payroll could have kept Santana and Hunter in town.

I’m not saying they *shouldn’t* sign him, I’m just pointing out it’s far from a “they must sign him” situation.

5 years 5 months ago

are you out of your mind. this is an absolute must sign! this guy has 3 batting titles and the age of 26! and one MVP and the face of the franchise, these type of players who are “nice guys” and that talented do not come around that often. and to say bring back two aces your for 25 million is over stepping here alittle. you bring up the example of Cliff Lee is by all accounts is underpaid and will get between 15-20 million a year this offseason. ever ace pitcher ,example Halladay,CC, Johan are all paid 20 million. he is going to cost 18 million year will most likely deferred money in there. and to say they could have kept tori and johan, they combined make well over 30 million combined.

5 years 5 months ago

Feel free to explain how the Twins will look in 2011 (or in any coming years) without Mauer and still win. Furthermore, its pretty impossible to compare Santana’s situation and Hunters situation to that of Mauer. Santana was going into his last season granted as the ace of the staff but also at a time when Hunter was going to be a FA, why would a small market team give an aging CF all that money? Thus they had to pick up the pieces somehow and they were only going to recoup by dealing Santana. They probably could’ve resigned Santana, but as great of a pitcher that he is, he doesn’t have the same effect as the HOMEGROWN Mauer does esp. as they look to move into a new stadium. Mauer is set to make 12.5 this year, pony up and pay him the contract he deserves, (though I’d be hesitant to sign a C to 8 years, so I’d look to have insurance somehow), plus they can always defer the money so it wouldn’t effect the team building. And if the Twins really aren’t willing to sign one of their few bright spots, well we’ve got plenty of pinstripes for him up in the Bronx.

Drew
5 years 5 months ago

Are you kidding me? You can’t possibly believe that Joe Mauer is the only reason the Twins are a .500 team.

Let’s put Joe Mauer at a +7 WAR player in 2010. CHONE puts the Twins at 85-77 this year. Interesting, 8 wins. So if we can plug in someone who gives us +1 WAR into that Catcher position, you’re wrong.

Let’s see, who do we have behind Joe… How about Jose Morales? Kid hit .311 backing up Joe last year. Defense wasn’t too horrible either. Got to +0.7 WAR in 119 at-bats. Not an all star, but would certainly eclipse +1 WAR over a full season. Or how about Drew Butera. Stellar defensive catcher, but a bit of a black hole offensively. Probably not gonna give you many wins, but he’s very solid. Then you keep going and find Wilson Ramos, another kid who has very real potential to contribute positively behind the plate.

Joe Mauer is not the end-all-be-all of Minnesota baseball. He’s very damn valuable, I’ll agree, but hardly the plug keeping the Twins from circling the drain…

5 years 5 months ago

That’s cool and everything, I respect the stats. At the same time however, the game is played on the field, not in the war room. Even outside the lines Mauer brings more money to the team than any other player, with respect to Mornaeu. I’m not saying he’s the end all be all of the Twins, but what I am saying is let’s say he leaves, you can only have so many Mornaeu Giveaway nights, fans want W’s and glamor, not .500 ball with balding veterans. MGMT wants fans in the park? It’s a no brainer they should start with locking up a solid homegrown talent.

TwinsVet
5 years 5 months ago

Yes, fans want wins and Mauer.

I think the point of us “critics” is that it’s a very real possibility we could LOSE by keeping Mauer, or have MORE wins without him. That needs to be taken into consideration.

Around Minnesota here, there’s overwhelming sentiment to hand the kid a blank check. People are thinking with their hearts. Some of us are trying to take a more pragmatic approach.

5 years 5 months ago

Yeah that’s a good way at looking at it, it’s also called being cheap. I’m not thinking with my heart, I hope he doesn’t resign so the kid can actually win, God forbid it’s in Boston though. He’s from the city, do you really think he’s going to hold them hostage? He wants to be shown that he’s appreciated, not a million for every pound. Furthermore, @Drew, are you seriously going to pretend you’re ready for Jose Morales to be your opening day catcher come 2011? You’re giving me stats for some kid who got less than 200 MLB ABs and almost a quarter of those ABs went for strikeouts.

sonofkenny
5 years 5 months ago

It’s the difference between what they are willing to pay him and what he demands…if everything goes the Twins way they will be paying him 21 mil a year…if he wants A-Rod money it’s 25 mil a year…a difference of 4 max…

Also even at 25 mil a year it is 25% of the payroll which will creep up north of 100 mil if the Twins continue to be successful…and I doubt Mauer is insisting on 25…

As popular as Garnett was it does not come even close to equating with the value Mauer is bringing to the Twins brand. I think people are underestimating the value he brings aside from his skills as a ballplayer.

I grew up in Minnesota but live on the east coast now. Since Mauer became “bigger than Jesus” to quote John Lennon most people I know didn’t even realize Minnesota had a team…now he is the topic of almost every baseball discussion I have…and the desire of non-Minnesota people to see him play is higher…meaning more nationally televised games…look at the exposure the Twins brand is getting because Mauer is on the cover of MLB 10. Twins logo in every commercial….and that is just the beginning…there is very significant upside to the Twins having Mauer for more than just baseball reasons

Your point about A-Rod and the Rangers, or keeping Santana and Torii are well taken…and if the Twins were still languishing in the Dome I would agree. But we have a perfect storm here…new stadium, increased revenue, successful team, and a hometown, homegrown player of rapidly increasing national popularity who by the way may be the best player in baseball, willing to sign a long term deal… and on the downside negative publicity for not signing him that would dwarf the bad pub the Twins got for trading Santana or the T’Wolves for trading Garnett…

I agree that there is a point where his demands could become so onerous that they cannot be accepted…but if the range we hear is what is being discussed the Twins would be foolish not to sign him…

markjsunz
5 years 5 months ago

It would be a shame for Mauer to leave. I am a dodger fan and I still remember the pain of the Dodgers losing Mike Piazza because Fox would not give him a $100 million dollar contract. In this case you have an owner who crys for the tax payers to fund a new stadium for the team. Mauer is going to want his payday,his value as a free agent on the open market. We have heard all of this before from the athlete. I love living in the community, this ia a great orginization, and the fans are great. Then if they do not get a top dollar offer they sign somewhere else and repeat the same lines in the new city of employment. I wish the best for the twin fans, and still remember those great teams of 1987 and 1991 or the 1965 world series.

robdeer
5 years 5 months ago

You have a point, but KG is not your best example if you’re trying to convince people that a team is better off not keeping a star with a limiting salary. The T-wolves have been awful without Garnett. The analogy doesn’t work for other reasons — one player can have a much more significant impact on a team’s success in the NBA, and payroll is a different beast because of the wacky salary cap.

The best MLB equivalent is the Helton contract. Barring injury, Mauer is likely to retain value as a major league player deep into the contract — he’s just too good of a hitter not to produce, even if he’s a DH or 1B six years down the line. But, like Helton, his contract may be a burden for the Twins down the line.

Unfortunately for the Twins, they have to take the good with the bad — if they want Mauer’s production over the next three or four years, they need to take the downside risk at the end of the contract. As an organization, you can only get so far churning your top players out of the system when they become expensive. At some point you need to take risks.

TwinsVet
5 years 5 months ago

I agree with your points – and generally those of others in response to my cynical remarks. I think it would be a poor move to let the guy walk. I think it would take an incredibly lucrative package to make trading him a good move. I think the organization is best served making him a career Twin, even if they end up with Baltimore Cal Ripken-level success (or lack thereof) as a result.

I’m just cynical of people who act like the sky is falling if he’s not resigned. The simple fact is that NOBODY has a +82 WAR, so NOBODY is irreplacable, if your goal is winning. And personally, I’d rather have a WINNING team without Mauer than a LOSING team with him. Ideally, we can win with him – I’m just annoyed the local Twins faithful never give that question any consideration.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
5 years 5 months ago

Well they can’t actually talk to him about Mauer and on Cot’s I’m not finding any Red Sox player who has Shapiro as an agent.

Ferrariman
5 years 6 months ago

How can something slow down if it never existed?

I’m gonna say: 7/150 with 2 club opts at 20mil& 15mil

sonofkenny
5 years 5 months ago

Close… 8/170 would be my guess….though I would not be surprised if the reports of a 10 year deal are accurate….

Beyond his value as a player he brings much needed positive publicity to the Twins organization. Witness the MLB 10 commercials with Mauer…Twins logo all over it…

salmnchasr
5 years 5 months ago

i can’t believe 8 years and you aren’t predicting he’ll get an average of 25m.he hits free agency and it could go higher.

5 years 5 months ago

they call it a hometown discount for a reason. the only reason why this has not got done already is because Mauer is facing pressure from the union not to take a ridulcious home town discount.

markjsunz
5 years 5 months ago

Yeah good ol boy Mauer is going to leave millions on the table for the good of the union. At the end of the day the player decides who he plays for and how much he is willing to sign for. It is not the big bad union who is the problem it is a simple case of the team with the best offer. A hometown discount is as big of a myth as the Easter bunny or a horrible yeti.I am sure if Mauer signs with another team the twins press corp will be blaming the union also.

5 years 5 months ago

i think you misunderstood what i was trying to say. i am saying that the union is putting pressure on him not to take a lowball offer from the twins.

markjsunz
5 years 5 months ago

I understood what you meant, and prehaps I was not clear. It is the player that always talks of home, team, fan base and community, and if you want them to take a home town discount , they will not do it. They want the most money they can get. I hope Mauer is a career twin. Minnesota has great fans, they have always supported the team, and have had there share of great players. I fully expect the dodger owner to let the homegrown talent walk when they become free agents also. It is just the nature of the game. I guess if you want loyalty you have to get a dog.

salmnchasr
5 years 5 months ago

tell the union to take a hike if he wants to stay in minn the union needs
to back of. hopefully he’ll do what he wants and if he is as good a catcher
as i hear then he is used to running things on the field he will do as he
wants and not the union.

invader3k
5 years 5 months ago

I tend to doubt he would get $25 million per year on the open market. Only the Yankees have been irresponsible enough to hand out such huge contracts (OK, the Rangers once, and look how that worked out). Plus as a catcher, he will probably wear down more quickly than an average position player. Yes, he could move to 1B/DH eventually, but that diminishes his value somewhat. I think something like 8 years and $150-160 million should be more than enough. The Twins can and should get it done, but not at the expense of not being able to build a team around him. Mauer should take this into account.

salmnchasr
5 years 5 months ago

he is still young and probably has 8 years left to catch. what is he 27.
with the catching situation in the majors now i think he could easily get 25
per. at the end of the contract he’s only going to be 35 or 36.

jhawk90
5 years 5 months ago

I still contend both Mauer and the Twins tend to do things at a pace of convenience and little fanfare – witness talks not even starting until both were in town for Twinsfest. While frustrating for Twins fans and open fodder for the big market fans, that’s the way they operate. Nothing to worry about.

Guest
5 years 5 months ago

I know that Twins fans would kill them if they didn’t sign him…but I don’t think he deserves like 8 year/175 millionLast year was the only year that he’s hit for power; if you ignore that year, he’s still arguably the best catcher in the league, but meh…. he might only regularly hit 15 homeruns, with a .330 averageand he’s had a few problems with injuries… not too bad thoughI don’t think he deserves anymore than 6 year/95 millionI know that some people feel otherwise though, and will disagree with meMcCann got 6 years/$26.8M (but they locked him up early into his career; 2007)Victor got 5 years/$15.5M, (but again, they locked him up earlier as well; 2005)Pudge has never gotten a contract with more than 10 million per year annual valuePosada makes about 13mSo, even the more modest deal that I proposed, would be the largest deal that a catcher has ever gotten (I think; I believe Piazza’s deal was the closest I could find, 7-year, $91 million, but that was a long time ago, so it could be seen as a bigger contract than 6 years/95m today)Although in the three years leading up that contract Piazza hit over 100 homeruns and had a .342 average

TwinsWin
5 years 5 months ago

I have not heard a single credible report that suggests anything other than that they will get something done. So until that happens, I am not even worried.

He is almost an Ichiro-type a guy that means a lot more to the Twins than he would playing outside his loyal hometown market. The Twins brass know they need to sign Baby Jesus or their will be a revolt, so I am sure it will be a nice contract for him.

Ethanator99
5 years 5 months ago

How long does everyone think that Mauer can be a catcher before he has to switch positions?

Ferrariman
5 years 5 months ago

6 years. at least.

jorge posada is still at it and he is like 57. (sarcasm)

Gjf29
5 years 5 months ago

8 years 160 mil book it. Mauer wants to get paid but he doesn’t strike me as wanted to hamper the organization. He wants them to build a winner around him. I doubt he takes more than 20 mil a season, and i bet it’ll be one of those contracts where he gets paid money after he is retired. If I’m a player, I don’t mind still getting a check in the mail when I’m relaxing at some nice beach in SoCal or on my yacht.

cman
5 years 5 months ago

Yep….I think Mauer realizes that if he aims to high the club won’t be able to put the right pieces around him to win. Thus a hometown discount. However, the players union will be up and screaming in his face about underbidding himself. Its gotta be a fine line. I also think the backloading of his contract is also an issue.

TwinsVet
5 years 5 months ago

People always talk about that, but I wonder how much pull the MLBPA actually has.

If I’m Joe Mauer, I’m negotiating a contract that’s best for me. I really don’t give a fart what the player’s union thinks. Foremost, I care about what’s good for me, second, I care what my friends and family think, and a distant third is what the fans and team thinks. What the player’s union thinks about my contracts ranks right down there with my cat.

TwinsVet
5 years 5 months ago

Twins ownership is on record as being opposed to deferred money.

5 years 5 months ago

Hopefully this will get resolved in the next couple of days then we just have to wait for an announcement.

5 years 5 months ago

Lifelong twins fan, I have very little doubt that a deal won’t get done. It’s mutual on both sides. Mauer loves the twins, the twins love mauer. My guess is the deal would be for 10 years at 210 or thereabouts. The question is how much of this will be deferred as mauer is set to save mucho dinero in taxes if much of that were deferred. Twins have never like deferring money and for good reason as the deeper into a long term deal you are, the liklihood for injury or decling skills can occur. That being said, this is a special ballplayer and the twins are gonna take great care of their investment even if this means changing his position half way into his deal, opening up the door for a Wilson Ramos/Jose Morales to have an impact in the pros. This ramos kid is young and can hit! If he progesses like he has been in the next 2-3 years, Twins will likely trade him or change mauer’s position. Mauer is an athlete, I don’t think he would have much trouble converting to the outfield (he certainly has the arm for it). Either way, there will always be a position spot and a batting spot for Joe Mauer. A mauer extension b4 2010 starts would be the icing on the cake of a very productive and efficient offseason for the Twins. An unprecedented one if you ask me.

twinkielover
5 years 5 months ago

everyone says that he will get more money in free agency. i honestly think he can live with $20 million dollars. i dont think another 3-5 would even matter if your being realistic

5 years 5 months ago

You make people say a word that doesn’t exist? Woa, I mean WHOA!!!