8 More Years!

March 22, 2010 at 12:08 am Leave a comment

Joe Mauer was signed to a lucrative extension today. 184M over 8 years. A lot of casual fans will say BAAAH HOW COULD WE EVER PAY SO MUCH MONEY TO ONE PLAYER THAT GREEDY JERK. But when examined under the scope of practicality, or rather, simply accepting what the game has become, what a nice deal!

Other blogs will calculate Mauer’s WAR (Wins above replacement player, a statistic that quantifies exactly how many wins a player provides his team indivually) and deduce that if Mauer does this and then this for the next 8 years, then it will be a good value blah blah. I’ll let those blogs do that. But as sabermetrically inclined as I am, this deal means so much more than Mauer’s projected 56 winshares or so through 2018.

What’s nice is, according to the few reports that are currently circulating, Mauer wanted to stay, and compromised down from 25M a year to 23M. There are a lot of sports stars out there who wouldn’t do that, and honestly, would it be easy for you to turn down 16M dollars just for sentiment’s sake? And then you look at what Mauer could have made on the open market.. Basically there’s only one elite catcher in baseball. Victor Martinez is nice but nowhere near the hitter Mauer is and not in the same stratosphere in terms of catching ability. Plus he’s coming out of his prime years. Russel Martin has always rubbed me the wrong way (Maybe it’s the cocky grin, or possibly the ambiguous ethnicity) and now he totally sucks. Did he even OPS .700 last year? Brian McCann is a good player. He’s young too, but he ranges from being a little worse, to way worse than Joe in every tangible and intangible quality that exists. I say intangible because I’m fairly certain Joe is of divine origin and if I was a Pagan I’d make ritualistic sacrifices to him.

I digress, but you see my point. There’s no one like Joe Mauer. And he’s in his prime. And he’s getting better, it seems. And contradictory to what a lot of people say, he’s been among the most durable catchers in baseball since 2005. Jason Kendall, I know you’re proud that you’ve played (awfully) every day for the past 15 years. But seriously you haven’t been good since around 2001.

The Yankees would totally have shelled out 250M for Mauer. They gave 300M to A-Rod, a guy who is a slightly more valuable hitter, but who the fans hate when he goes 0 for 4, plays a much more offensive position (3B), has been a known steroid user, and is at best an average third baseman. It’s hard to argue that A-Rod is definitively worth more than Mauer.

What a scatterbrained post. My main points are as follows:

1) The Twins saved an assload of money because Mauer actually wanted to stay.

2) The Yankees don’t get him.

3) He’s the only truly elite catcher in the game today (We’ll see, Matt Wieters).

4) Jason Kendall sucks.

Plus the healthcare bill passed! Yayyyyyy! What an awesome day. Oh, wait. Sorry Joe Nathan… 😦

P.S May I just point out that in my free agents/trade targets post a while back, I predicted the Royals would sign Jason Kendall because Dayton Moore is a danger to himself and others. And he totally signed him. For 2 years. And over 6M dollars.

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Sports Media Stretching Itself a Little Thin Why There Shouldn’t Be A Salary Cap

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