Last year I predicted that reigning AL MVP Joe Mauer would sign with the Yankees in the 2010 offseason. Boy was I wrong.
Monday it was made official. It was announced that Mauer had signed a 8 year extension with the Minnesota Twins to remain their catcher through at least the 2017 season. The deal is for $184 Million and average of $23 Million a year and includes a full no-trade clause.
Mauer has been one of the best hitters in the American League, winning the batting title three times and was the clear-cut winner for the MVP in 2009 hitting .365 with 28 homers and 96 RBI. Oh, and he missed the first few weeks of the season.
Mauer grew up in the midwest and is considered to be a hometown boy so it’s not surprising the Twins wanted to keep their fans happy by signing Mauer long-term. However, had Mauer waited to re-sign, he could have tested the free agent open waters this fall and would have easily gotten anywhere from $175-$225 Million. I had predicted the Yankees might be willing to offer him 6 years in the neighborhood of $190 Million, or $32 Million a year.
That would more than exceed the $27 Million that Alex Rodriguez averages annually, but then again, Mauer has won 3 batting titles in his 6 seasons as a big league and established himself as the best player in the American League last season.
The Twins are most definitely trying to prove to their fans that they are serious about competing with the Yankees and Red Sox and this move is a good way to make that point. However, I hope they don’t make the same mistakes with Mauer that Texas made with Rodriguez from 2000-2003, causing the team with the best player in the league to finish at the bottom of the standings every year.