Stark On Mauer, Indians, Myers

The latest from ESPN's Jayson Stark

  • Stark tackles the topic of whether Joe Mauer can and should pursue his goal of staying at catcher for the life of his eight-year contract.  Manager Ron Gardenhire was realistic about it, admitting that a position change is worth thinking about if Mauer continues to have leg and knee issues.
  • Indians GM Chris Antonetti explained that if the team remains a contender at the trade deadline, "we'll be looking to acquire guys," rather than trade players like Grady Sizemore.
  • Rooting for the Yankees to acquire Brett Myers this summer?  One NL scout told Stark, "If he's in the AL East, he's a fifth starter." For more on the Astros' trade chips, check out my post from this morning.

67 Responses to Stark On Mauer, Indians, Myers Leave a Reply

  1. PostMoBills 4 years ago

    A position change was pretty much inevitable for Mauer. I’m just surprised it only took one year after he signed that lucrative contract for the serious talks to come up. I’m not sure that catching is the cause of his problems, and not catching will be the solution, but they need to give it a shot. He’s missing a lot of time, and they need to work around that. Folks pay money to watch him play. I want him to catch as long as possible, but that doesn’t seem to be the best thing for him.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      unless it’s shortstop they move him to, his value will take a huge hit. unfortunately it might be a hit they have to live with in order to keep him on the field at all with any regularity

      people are not just being cynical when they worry about players like mauer and tulo signing long-term megadeals. teams can end up screwed pretty hard

      • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

        what about Outfield 4 times a week and catcher once or twice a week?

    • j6takish 4 years ago

      The problem is, he is only worth what he is being paid provided he catches. 300+ with 25hr potential is pretty special at C and not so special at 1b…

      • twins33 4 years ago

        I don’t think he’ll ever hit that many HR’s again. Not by playing in a park that’s more pitcher friendly. If the Twins were still in the Dome I could see it, because I don’t think it was a fluke, but they’re not playing there anymore.

      • PostMoBills 4 years ago

        You are right, but right now he is in a hospital bed. The Twins just have to get whatever value they can out of him. His career OPS of .885 would be 5th among MLB outfielders, so it’s not exactly like he’d be a hole in a lineup. I’d also rather he play outfield for 8 more seasons than some injury-riddled catcher for 4 and then his legs are completely shot.

    • cman 4 years ago

      IMOP it was a huge mistake to trade Ramos to Washington for just Capps. Mauer needs to learn another position periood. It would have worked out nicely if those two could have split time behind the plate, saving Mauer’s knees the wear and tear. You could DH Mauer or play him in the outfield on his off days. Ramos would then get plenty at bats which is his strength, while sharpening his catching skills to eventually take over full time. Seems like a perfect scenario.

      Instead we traded away a big time prospect for a two year rental in Capps. The sad thing is, he is nothing exceptional.

  2. bigpat 4 years ago

    If Myers is on the Yankees, he’s their #2 starter. Get over this AL East superiority crap. He’d be the 3rd or 4th best pitcher in Boston, second in NY, first in Baltimore, second in Toronto, and second in Tampa. FAIL.

    • East Coast Bias 4 years ago


    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      lol I dare you to prove your claim with any sort of statistical evidence..

      Double dare !

      • bigpat 4 years ago

        I understand that the AL East is the best division in baseball, but there have been pitchers with less than amazing stuff who’ve had success in it. I’m pretty sure Myers is on par with or better than Guthrie, Burnett, Lackey, Shields, Davis, Niemann, etc. He’s been pretty solid as a starter throughout his career, and to call him a 5th starter in the amazing AL East just sounds dumb if you ask me.

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          myers put up 4 WAR in houston last year. lackey did it in the al east

          i feel kinda dirty for dignifying your comments with a serious response

          • John Lackey hasn’t seen a 4 WAR year since 2007.

            Now for the REAL apples to apples comparison:

            Myers > Dice-K


          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            2010 Red Sox 14 11 215.0 4.40 3.85 4.15 4.0

            you’re right about daisuke though. and that would make myers


            the fifth starter!

          • MB923 4 years ago

            Maybe he’s using Baseball Reference, aka, the one you hate lol

          • There’s your problem, fangraphs notoriously overstates WAR.

            Notice how Myers had a FIP of 3.56 vs. Lackey’s 3.85, yet they still had the same WAR?

            Use, it has a more realistic 4 WAR for Myers, and 1.8 for Lackey.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            “fangraphs notoriously overstates WAR.”

            show your work

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            fangraphs’ WAR is bad, you say, because it thinks myers and john lackey had similarly valuable seasons

            i should use b-r WAR you explain, because it’s more realistic. for example, it thinks brett myers (4.7) was more valuable than cliff freakin’ lee (4.3) last year

            brilliant. please tell us more about this realism

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            cliff lee would be a 5th starter on an AL team

          • jwredsox 4 years ago

            b-r bases theirs off ERA rather than the all around better stat, FIP, which fangraphs uses. Fangraphs > B-R

          • bigpat 4 years ago

            Yes, your argument wins and Brett Myers is a #5 starter in every AL East team because he is equal to John Lackey. I guess the Yankees would have to slot him behind the immortal Ivan Nova and Bartolo Colon and if he’s lucky maybe he can beat out Brad Bergensen in Baltimore, I don’t see it happening though.

            I don’t understand why you can’t see that comment about Myers is silly. Anyone would take 4 WAR from their 5th starter, and having to say that sentence out loud proves that Myers is better than that. And I’m not even a huge fan of him, I of course expect him to regress from last season but it’s hard to know how great he can be since he hasn’t started for a few seasons.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            “yes, your argument wins and Brett Myers is a #5 starter in every AL East team because he is equal to John Lackey.”

            yes, that’s what i said, isn’t it

            or did you suggest myers was “on par with or better than” lackey (among others), and then i pointed out exactly why you’re wrong

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            “Anyone would take 4 WAR from their 5th starter, and having to say that sentence out loud proves that Myers is better than that. ”

            you’re not very good at this “proving” thing, are you friend

            the scout’s position was not “if brett myers did in the AL East the way he performed in houston last year, he would be a fifth starter”

            the scout’s position was “brett myer could not perform in the AL East the way he performed in houston last year. he could only perform at the level of a fifth starter”

            now that you understand the position, maybe you can go about disproving it. i bet i could, even though i do agree with the the general point he’s driving at

            but instead of doing that, so far you’ve just been saying ridiculous and plainly false things like “myers is better than lackey/shields/burnett” and “myers would be the #2 starter on the yankees staff”

            get it together man

        • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

          So your answer is No, that you cant back it up with statistical evidence?

      • PostMoBills 4 years ago

        Brett Myers is 1-0. This would make him the 2nd best starting pitcher on the Yankees roster to A.J. Burnett, who is 3-0.*

        *not serious

    • baseball33 4 years ago

      Myers doesn’t excite me. The Yankees would have to get him cheap and I don’t see that happening. I wouldn’t give up too much to have him in the rotation. I rather deal with what we have now.

    • I don’t even Like Myers but you are right.

    • The_Silver_Stacker 4 years ago

      AL East fans are going to give you crap for that one lol

  3. Largebill 4 years ago

    If he can stay healthy, as a catcher Mauer is on a certain path to the Hall of Fame. However, same stats from a corner OF and he’d need to accumulate a great volume of those stats. Reason being his hitting is far above production from run of the mill replacement catcher, but not as much compared to OF’s.

    • $7562574 4 years ago

      with stronger legs not playing catcher, he may get better offensive numbers.

  4. $7562574 4 years ago

    trade for mathis of the angels. since we have 3 catchers in the majors and if the twins are willing to trade a young aaa catcher, the trade will help both teams a lot.

    • PostMoBills 4 years ago

      I don’t know if Jeff Mathis is a good defender, but at 28 years old with a career .199/.263/.313 I don’t care. Sweet Drew Butera is a better option at that point.

      • Or Wilson Ramoooooooooh, nevermind.

        • $7562574 4 years ago

          none of your other catchers are not ready for starting role. the reason it maybe ok to trade for mathis is the rest of your lineup is prety strong. even though i’m a fan of the angels, i’m a fan of mauer also. i like to see him play the game of baseball for a long time.

  5. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    I swear it was just yesterday that Mauer was the crown jewel of the Mlb and his contract was considered amazing to twins fans that they were keeping their stud around for years..

    • twins33 4 years ago

      I’m glad they did it, but I was always hoping he’d be paid $20 million less (at minimum). It seemed kind of obvious that they were going to have to overpay because of his career year, if they were going to sign him that year and not wait. He won’t ever repeat that year, not in the ballpark they are in now.

      I’m still glad they did it. I’d rather have him than not. Losing him or Morneau usually is a big hit to the team, though they seem able to overcome losing Morneau more easily. Guys step up more when that happens. I don’t feel the same happens when they are down Mauer, especially considering his replacements.

  6. JacksTigers 4 years ago

    In my oppinion, catchers are not made to play almost every day and that exactly what the Twins have him doing. The only other position I can think of him playing is first because of his height but then what do you do with….. decisions, decision…..

  7. I’m no Brett Myers fan but why is he a number 5 starter in the AL East? His best start in all of 2009 was against the Yankees in a regular season interleague game.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      it’s reasonable to assume he’s speaking of the AL East contenders only, since they’re the ones he’d be traded to. he’s certainly a #5 for boston, a back-end (4 or 5) starter for tampa, and probably a #4 for nyy (3 while hughes is out)

      not quite the outrageous claim it seems at first pass

    • jwredsox 4 years ago

      It’s nice to use a sample size of 1 game I guess.

  8. Triple Hawpes Brewed 4 years ago

    Don’t hold your breath on that one, Antonetti.

  9. AmericanMovieFan 4 years ago

    Yet another one of those massive deals that has the beginnings of an albatross just one year later. As much as it’ll suck to swallow the bulk of the $23MM they’re paying him this year, they should keep him away from baseball for a bit to let him recover, send him back to extended spring training/rehab and then make a definitive decision about a position switch, possibly turning him into the most expensive Super Utility player ever, platooning him at OF, DH and possibly 1B or something like that. Because otherwise he doesn’t fit in the line up and he certainly can’t catch anymore, that much is evident. So….Oh well. At least Joe Mauer is a wealthy, wealthy man.

    • $7562574 4 years ago

      as if your yankees don’t have plenty of those.

      • Vmmercan 4 years ago

        They have twice the payroll to absorb it, so your point doesn’t make sense. It would be like a Marlins fan mocking a Twins fan for having one bad contract

        • ellisburks 4 years ago

          Yes the Yankees have twice the payroll, but how do you absorb: AJ Burnett($16.5 mil), Derek Jeter($15mil), Jorge Posada($13 mil). All albatross contracts.

    • What do you mean he can not catch? I am pretty sure he can. Its just is catching slowly making him degrade.

  10. 0vercast 4 years ago

    Hopefully when the Twins move Mauer, he’ll bulk up a little and starting swinging for the fences once in a while when the Twins need a run or two, instead of just slapping a single and letting someone else do the heavy lifting.

  11. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    what if it only becomes a glaring problem

  12. It is a blaring problem!

  13. That’s probably because you’re not a Twins fan. Dude’s knee’s have been done for a couple of years now. His knee problems started his rookie year. I actually demoted Mauer as my favorite player last week because he’s SOFT. He sits every 3rd game and is the 3rd highest paid player ever. Waste of money he is.

  14. East Coast Bias 4 years ago

    Talk about a double whammy! First he goes on the DL for weakness, and now you demote him as your favorite player?! How the hell do you expect him to cope with BOTH of those things at once? I hope he’s handling it okay…

  15. He can still hit, they knew at some point he was gonna have to switch to the OF. It’s just gonna come sooner then they thought.

  16. twins33 4 years ago

    It hasn’t been as big of an issue as Tyler is making it out to be. He tore his MCL in 2004. He’s also had some inflammation due to surgery.

    Yes, you’d rather have a list of no leg problems, but I’d say he’s had more non-leg problems then leg problems (kidney, back, shoulder issues-usually from getting beat up behind the plate). He did have a stress reaction in his left fibula in 2007 as well, so that’s leg related.

    He’s had two knee problems, one in 2004 and then one again this past offseason (cleanup done due to the 2004 surgery). Besides the tearing of the MCL, the only other time where he was on the DL for a long period of time was not leg related. It was back related and he won the MVP the same year.

    Joe’s been in the top five for games played by a catcher in the following years: 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010. Top 10 in 2005. Now, that’s not at the catcher position only, so remember that, but he’s still played in more games than most catchers have. The only years missing there are his rookie year when he tore the MCL (2004) and 2007 with the stress fracture. Every other year he’s been playing pretty much top five for a catcher.

    He’s overpaid, true, but people who worry about Mauer not playing a lot generally don’t look at the rest of the catchers in the league when they say that. If they did, they’d see Mauer top five most of the time.

  17. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    15-day DL with a bruised ego =*(

  18. I heard he’s not taking the news so well. I’m kind of a big deal around here. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.

  19. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    don’t ruin perfectly good Ron Burgundy quotes

  20. I said that way before Ron Burgundy.

  21. ellisburks 4 years ago

    I am sure he meant to say leather-bound outfits.

  22. BenchedMark 4 years ago

    Its a head injury, they should be able to put him on the new 7 day DL

  23. twins33 4 years ago

    2009 was the only year where he actually tried to hit HR’s and he did well in doing so. He still had a ton that barely made it over, but they still count. I haven’t seen him try to hit it out before or since (except the occasional at bat here or there, but it’s rare).

    I think he could be a power hitter if he wanted to, he just chooses not to mess with the rest of his game. I remember he said trying to hit HR’s messed him up in regards to the rest of his game. I just don’t ever see it happening again because the Twins now play in a neutral to pitcher’s ballpark, especially with the fact that most of his HR’s go opposite field.

  24. John McFadin 4 years ago

    Oh no, please don’t give us the Ichiro argument. You lost everyone at “2009 was the only year where he actually tried to hit HR’s”.

  25. twins33 4 years ago

    If you’d watch Mauer swing, you’d see the change he made in his approach and swing in 2009. He did not do that in any of his other years. He even stated it himself.

    And if you don’t believe in just him stating it, watch footage of him from every year. The difference is easily noticeable and I believe it was even written about nationally.

  26. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    fly ball %

    2008: 28.3
    2009: 29.5
    2010: 29.0

    you’d think that if he were making a concerted effort to hit homeruns in 2009 and not 2008 or 2010, there would be a change more significant than .5-1.2%. but there isn’t. where is there a dramatic change? HR/FB%:

    2008: 6.5 %
    2009: 20.4%
    2010: 6.7 %

    it’s hard for me to believe this is simply a function of some small change in approach (and if it were, that he would choose not to take that approach)

  27. twins33 4 years ago

    Well, he said he changed his approach and the way he swung at the ball. And looking at him up to bat, the difference is noticeable. And Mauer doesn’t like to mess up what made him a future HOFer. He has stated in the past that he doesn’t like the changes that he has to make in order to hit HR’s. It messes up everything else and he said he feels uncomfortable changing to that approach/swing.

    I can’t find a quick quote, but he had quite a few interviews about why he was all of a sudden hitting HR’s and why he wasn’t doing it before and why he felt uncomfortable about continuing to do so.

  28. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    i’m not saying you’re making it up. ichiro has said the same thing. i’m just skeptical

  29. twins33 4 years ago

    Sorry, I wasn’t sure. Hard to tell on the net, most responses tend to lean towards the “you’re making this up.” I haven’t paid much attention to Ichiro and his comments so I didn’t know he said the same thing. I think I might have heard it once a few years ago.

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