Souhan: Twins can't breathe under Mauer's huge contract

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 30, 2012 - 7:24 AM

The catcher is doing his job yet not earning his keep, and that's the best he's going to be able to do for the next six years.

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acoustic470May. 29, 1210:43 PM

Been a while since I could say that I pretty much agree with a Souhan-written article.

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Truckman182May. 29, 1210:51 PM

28 home runs in 2009 and just 13 home runs since? Sure looks like somebody was on the gas in 2009......

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danmyteMay. 29, 1210:53 PM

I agree in general with Souhan for once. But I will not fall for the company line that Mauer's contract stops the Twins from spending more. They did not cut payroll because of Mauer and they have the money to put good players around him. They have failed at drafting and in the trading department. But the management will never admit this but, instead, will use the Mauer contract and the fact that they had to sign him as a convenient excuse. Do not be a sap and fall for it. There are teams with less payroll winning more games. For example, I would love to see the Twins get the man who is drafting the A;s pitchers for them. He is damn good. They always have good young arms. So, I will never, never, ever fall for the line that the Mauer contract is what is holding this team back. Spending money on guys like Nishi is the real problem.

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ritterjMay. 29, 1211:01 PM

This article would be true if the Twins were still trying to function with a payroll of 50 million per year, but with revenue from Target Field, the Twins should have 100-110 million after Mauer's contract to spend on the rest of the payroll; more than many other teams spend on their whole payroll. I agree with the comment above - the Twin's problems are from bad drafting and poor trades under Bill Smith. And by the way, the Twins management/owners have never used Mauer's contract as an excuse; it is mostly the fixation of writers and fans.

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Guppy35May. 29, 1211:13 PM

Nice to see you acknowledge what you said back in 2009 when there was a bit of panic brewing in the fan base that we'd lose Mauer to the Yankees or the Red Sox. It was damned if you do and damned if you don't at the time for the Twins. As much as the whiners in the comments sections for the Twins dump on Mauer, they'd have been crucifying the Twins had they let him go. It's still to early to write Mauer off though.

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meemaaMay. 29, 1211:29 PM

When did OBP become a legitimate stat? He might show up at the ballpark, but he's just another warm body at this point. His arm isn't that great and his 'intangibles' are negligible. Part of that 23mil was to be a leader on this team and a crowd draw-he is really doing neither. Mauer should do himself a favor and get out in the real world and work for a living. Somewhere that he isn't idolized for sports. What else does he know??

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beenthere05May. 29, 1211:52 PM

The Twins are not in last place because of Mauer's contract. The reason this team is in dire straits is not his contract money, there could be more money for other contracts if indeed management really wanted to do so. With the income the team gets from Target field, they have it in the bank. But it has also been proven that overspending by itself will not provide a winning team. We need better talent evaluators.

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snausagesMay. 30, 1212:03 AM

I think the biggest issue here is drafting and development. The Twins have gotten pretty much nothing out of their farm system in the last three or four years. They could put a quality team around Mauer if they brought up some young talent. Whether Mauer can continue to produce at this level as a catcher remains to be seen (it doesn't look good), but he and his contract have very little to do with the team's struggles this year.

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MSUDTGMay. 30, 1212:07 AM

meemaa, OBP first became a MLB statistic in 1984.

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BallFourMay. 30, 1212:39 AM

The bigger problem is paying more than Mauer makes to five pitchers who don't contribute enough. And a little research reveals countless teams paying plenty of money to people long gone or not performing. Is Grady Sizemore earning his $5 million? He hasn't played for the Indians this season. The Angels are paying Bob Abreu $9 million minus the minimum to have a 153 OPS+ with the Dodgers. They're also paying Torii Hunter $18 million, and he hasn't played since May 12. So far, that's been a $1.4 million dollar vacation for Torii (OPS+ of 110). The A's are into Coco Crisp for a minimum $14 million for the next two seasons plus the buyout. He's got an OPS+ of 6 this year for the Moneyballers. (Mauer's OPS+ is 134; Mike Napoli, who's a horse, is at 111.)

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