New York Yankees: Twins Put Joe Mauer on Waivers, Should Bombers Be Interested?

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IAugust 29, 2012

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 04:  Joe Mauer #7 of the Minnesota Twins at bat against the Boston Red Sox during the game on August 4, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

****UPDATE (5:20 p.m.): Joe Mauer cleared waivers on Wednesday, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Twins can trade Mauer to any team before Friday's deadline, but he has a full no-trade clause, making a deal unlikely.

#Twins’ Mauler clears waivers. Can be traded by Fri. 12 a.m. ET deadline for setting playoff rosters. Highly unlikely. Has full no-trade.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 29, 2012


On Wednesday, another top name in baseball was dangled on the market as the Minnesota Twins placed Joe Mauer on waivers.

With the Twins out of the playoff race, they put their star catcher on waivers to see if teams would draw any interest in the 29-year-old.

A lot of people felt the Boston Red Sox, now $260 million free of payroll with the departures of Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett, could have been a suitor for Mauer.

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Red Sox will not claim Mauer, which is surprising considering he could have been a fit.

#redsox wont claim mauer on trade waivers. @ken_rosenthal 1st reported he was on waivers.

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) August 29, 2012
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With the Red Sox not pursuing Mauer, I now have to pose the question because I know some of you out there might be wondering the same thing.

What about the Yankees as a spot for the star catcher?

They have Russell Martin signed until the end of the 2012 season and there is no guarantee that he will be re-signed in the winter.

While Mauer's power numbers are down, he's still a productive hitter; a .309 average with eight home runs and 66 RBI in 120 games for the Twins.

Mauer had an awful 2011 season that was plagued with a knee injury and pneumonia, which limited him to 82 games.

Earlier this week, the Twins put first basemen Justin Morneau on waivers, but pulled him back after an unknown team claimed him.

Morneau only has one more year left on his deal and will be a free agent after 2013, so pulling him back makes sense. By next summer, he'll be an attractive trade chip for the Twins, who will be looking to send him to a contender in exchange for a few prospects. 

But Mauer has another six years left on his deal worth around $138 million, which would be adding another $23 million to the payroll for the Yankees. Mauer would also be under contract until he's 35 years old.

But if any team—aside from the Dodgers, who are taking on everyone's contract this summer—could afford Mauer, the Yankees definitely could.

We all know the Yankees are trying to get down to the $189 million mark by 2014, and I am still interested to see if they really get to that point or if they change their minds.

Three years ago, if the Twins had done this, I'd say absolutely and hope the Yankees would make the claim.

But now, I'm not jumping up and down on Mauer like I once did before he signed the extension with the Twins.

By the time 2013 hits, he will be a 30 years old and depending on his health, will he still be able to play as a catcher, or will he need to transition to a new position?

The Yankees have a ton of money tied into Alex Rodriguez at third and Mark Teixeira at first. Both players have no-trade clauses, so don't expect either one to be leaving anytime soon.

Plus, Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson are due extensions soon, and they could command anywhere between $15-20 million per season.

So adding on a contract like Mauer for the full $23 million when he's set to turn 30 next season isn't making Yankees GM Brian Cashman pick up the phone to dial Twins GM Terry Ryan.

The only way I could see the Yankees making this type of move is if they give up on trying to bring back Russell Martin, ask the Twins to pay some of the deal that is still owed, or give up on their quest for the $189 million payroll by 2014.

At one time, I would have loved to had Mauer wearing pinstripes in the Bronx.

But in 2012, I don't see it happening.

But then again, who ever expected the Dodgers to do what they accomplished last weekend, so you never know with this game.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.

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