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Mauer Contract Extension Caps Great Offseason, Signals Organizational Shift

By Craig Tacheny

The dream of thousands of Minnesotans came true Sunday as St. Paul native son Joe Mauer signed an eight-year, $184 million contract extension. Mauer, last year’s American League MVP, will now be a Twin (making $23 million per year) through the 2018 season.

Finally. We’ve been waiting for this for a long time. We couldn’t afford to keep Torii Hunter; he left for Anaheim. We couldn’t afford Johan Santana; we traded him to the Mets and got nothing in return.

But we got Mauer. The extension signals the end of what’s been a great offseason for the Twins: they re-signed Carl Pavano, and they went out and got Jim Thome (118 OPS+ in 2009) and Orlando Hudson (2.9 WAR last year with the Dodgers). Mauer is now the cherry on top of all that and his presence makes the Twins a serious contender in the AL for years to come.

But the extension also signals something else: It signals the end of the Twins as a small-market, low-budget team. They’re playing with the big boys now. We’re not in Kansas (City) anymore.

The 2011 payroll will soar beyond $100 million, and it’s time to throw out the excuses about being a small market team, unable to compete with the big spenders on the East and West coasts. No longer can we fall back on the “well, the Yankees and Red Sox just buy the best players” excuse.

Make no mistake about it, the Twins just bought the best player in the American League.

Statistics courtesy of and


  1. I love the number of years on this contract and I think it says a lot on what the projections from the stadium are and the overall baseball stream is going forward. I have heard really good things on how much baseball can generate from video on the internet.
    Right now I think the number is very high based on Mauer's production,injury history,future production and positions possibilities, but as other sign bigger contracts the Twins will look good. Personally I would rather have Hanley Ramirez,Ryan Braun,Prince Fielder,Felix Hernandez and a few others for that sort of money/years which is what I also think they would sign at, but then again they wouldn't sign for it in MN anyways.
    Thanks to the Twins for giving the state a team to be proud of.

  2. It is big news in MN but an interesting time to sign it as it sort of gets buried in a busy news cycle, wonder if that was plan. How about those Twins, fresh air has done them good.