In the world of baseball, August is that time when guys get put on waivers for purposes of either being traded or to gauge if there is any trade interest on a big-contract player. But to make this tactic work, you must understand the concept of timing.
The Minnesota Twins clearly do not understand this.
In case you didn’t notice, the Twins have put all-star catcher and former MVP Joe Mauer on the waiver wire, according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.
Don’t get me wrong, I get why they did it. Let’s be honest; the Twins have plummeted to baseball’s basement, and Mauer’s has now become a millstone around Minnesota’s neck. Yeah, I get that he is performing; his “slash numbers” are .309/.403/.425 with eight homers. But the idea that he likely will never reproduce his power numbers of his MVP year of 2009 combined with the fact he has roughly $142.5 million left on his contract means he is a likely candidate for a Red Sox-style salary dump.
The problem is the Twins are too late. Just look at the likely takers to eat such a big contract…
The Red Sox just unloaded a quarter-billion in salaries in Adrian Gonzalez , Josh Beckett, and Carl Crawford. They are not going to pick most of that back up in one fell swoop.
The Dodgers just ate Boston’s $250 million.
The Yankees really need pitchers more than yet another lefty bat.
The Cubs are still trying to get out from under Alfonso Soriano’s gorgon-like deal; not to mention they just ankled themselves to Starlin Castro for far too long and far too much, and rumor has it they are ready to piss away a giant pile of cash on professional under-achiever Jeff Samardzija.
The Angels blew their allowance on C.J. Wilson and Albert Pujols, not to mention what they still owe Vernon Wells, Torii Hunter, and what they will end up giving to Zach Grienke or any of those other pitchers.
The Rangers spent big for Yu Darvish and still have the Josh Hamilton situation to resolve.
Given all that, just where does the Twins’ front office think Mauer is going? You know he’s not going to be part of one of those “you take him but we will pay a big chunk of his salary” deals. So what are they hoping to accomplish here?
Oh, and here’s the big problem…not only does Mauer’s contract guarantee him $23 million annually through the 2018 season, it also has full “no-trade” protection. In other words, even if he is claimed, Mauer would have to approve any deal.
All that means that Joe Mauer changing team in the next few days is as likely as a Twins’ World Series Championship this year. It just isn’t going to happen. But it does make one wonder just what are the Twins thinking?