Being a Twins fan, I had to "adopt" a team for the playoffs this season, so I cheated and picked two. I now sit watching like my two adoptees, the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals, but either way these playoffs are absolutely fantastic.
If you’ve paid attention to the MLB playoffs you probably know about the escapades of Yankees (currently benched) third baseman Alex Rodriguez. He hasn’t been performing, and therefore he has been asking ladies in the stands for their numbers. Alex Rodriguez is signed through 2017 with the Yankees for a lot of money and it’s brought up the question: What will the Yankees do?
I don’t know that answer, but I do know that Joe Mauer is signed with the Twins through 2018 for a lot of money…uh-oh.
Here are the top five reasons the Twins should let Joe Mauer walk.
Quietly, Joe Mauer played the most games he’s played in a season in 2012. Mauer played in 147 contests; his previous high was 140 in 2006. Most years he’s missed a good chunk of time due to injuries.
From 2004’s medial meniscus tear to 2011’s “bilateral leg weakness,” there is a good list for Mauer’s injuries. It looks like they may be behind him, but a catcher always can get banged up.
Now the injuries do add to the idea of wear and tear, but it isn’t the only piece to the puzzle. The facts are that Joe Mauer has played nine seasons in the MLB and most of the time was behind the plate. That just adds up to wear.
Most players also decline later in their careers and the ones that don’t are questioned. It’s very typical that players decline; Joe isn’t exactly Superman. He’ll probably decline somewhat, it’s only natural.
It’s a cliché, isn’t it? Frankly, I don’t know if anyone outside of the Twins organization knows exactly where this team is headed. They lost 90-plus games over the past two years, but that offense looks good enough to keep. It’s one of those horrible pickles some franchises find themselves in.
It’ll take a year or two, again, to figure out what the Twins have here, but if they have nothing it would be at least somewhat courteous to offer to Joe Mauer the chance to leave, if he wants.
Well, Michael Cuddyer left and then there was a leadership gap in the Twins clubhouse. Now I know and we all know the lack of a leader wasn’t the Twins' problem, but someone needs to be that vocal guy, and it really should be Mauer.
Mauer seems like a quiet guy. I’ve never held a conversation with the man, so this is all from the media I consume. It’s hard to be quiet and the lead dog, but maybe he is and just has to show the fans a little bit more.
Mauer wasn’t signed for power, it’s true. That being said, not too many baseball players (pitchers exempt) are paid that much money and don’t hit home runs.
Mauer has hit double digits in home runs three times in his career, including this past season when he hit 10 dingers.
Will the Twins let Mauer walk? No, I don’t believe so. These are just some simple reasons why the Twins might. The Twins have more to lose with him walking than eating his contract. He’s the hometown kid.
He’s injury prone, but he didn’t break down in 2012.
He has wear and tear, but most of that comes from catching, and as 2012 proved, he’s playing more and more first and DH. Mauer is quietly sneaking away from being the full-time catcher, which may be good in the long run.
He might have a chance to win and he has had chances. Simply, I doubt Mauer would like to leave the Twins. He’s spent his life in Minnesota and I don’t think he would leave.
He’s not a vocal leader, but what do we really know about the inner workings of a clubhouse. I don’t know what’s going on in there and not too many do. It seems that Joe is quiet and not too vocal, but that can all change too.
He doesn’t hit for power, but who cares. He hits for average and a very good average. Mauer just doesn’t hit for power; we’ve accepted it.
I don’t think Mauer will go and I don’t want him to go. I want to see Mauer’s slow transition into A-Rod asking chicks for their digits…or maybe at least a Kleenex. He seems like a shy, engaged guy.