On the day that the Minnesota Twin fans received terrible news about their closer Joe Nathan, they have good news from the receiving end of the battery, Joe Mauer.
According to many sources , the Twins have re-signed their 2009 American League MVP and three-time batting champion catcher to an 8-year deal for $184 million. The deal includes a full no-trade clause and keeps the homegrown (and hometown) All-Star with the team through the 2018 season.
A press conference is scheduled for Monday evening.
Mauer is a Minnesota Twin for life.
There was much speculation that the small market Twins would never be able to afford Mauer, and he would go to the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees via free agency. But what these speculators did not realize is that the Twins ownership, the Pohlad family, is one of the wealthiest ownership groups in all of sports, with a net worth of $2 billion.
The fact that the patriarch, Carl Pohlad, was a tightwad should not have reflected negatively on his sons who now run the team after his father’s death.
Jim Pohlad correctly knew that the Twins needed to sign their hometown son to be a Twins for his entire career.
That is the way baseball should be. The Twins drafted and developed a three-time batting champ/MVP, and he stays a Minnesota Twin forever.
I said this in a post to a Mauer to the Yankees article here on Bleacher Report :
"Mauer will sign an extension before the 2010 season begins, and the Twins fans will be happy ."
Even as a Yankee fan, I did not want Mauer to leave Minnesota. With all the catching prospects in the Yankee system, they didn't need, and shouldn't have wanted, Joe Mauer.
Also, the Twins are no longer a small market team. (The term "small market team" is such a stupid term anyway because all the owners are filthy rich, and they can afford to sign their own players.) According to a report, the new Target Field and the Twins' subsequent new TV and radio deals will give the Twins Top 10 ranking for outside revenue in MLB.
That fact, and the Pohlad's vast fortunes, made the Twins signing Joe Mauer to a long-term deal to keep him a Twin for life a no-brainer. The Mauer deal, signing Justin Morneau long term, and having the smarts to draft and develop well (and actually play their young players), will make the Twins contenders in the American League for the foreseeable future.
And that is good for baseball.