By Putting Joe Mauer on Waivers, The Minnesota Twins Prove They Are Completely Clueless

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?

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8 responses

  1. $23 mil.

    Jesus.

    Who’s his agent again?

    And Selig thinks steroids ruined the game when all along, it was actually arbitration that did so.

  2. So sad to see the Twins in such disarray. If Mauer does leave, does that mean Tim Laudner comes out of retirement?

    1. They would get Sal Butera back, so he and Drew could be the first father-son combo to catch for a last-place team.

  3. Oh oh, the Dodgers are lurking.

  4. Is Justin Morneau available? I know a contender that could use him. Too bad they can’t afford a first baseman who can actually hit.

  5. Matt Lawton, Hero to the AAC | Reply

    Morneau should be imminently available. J – the real question here is why did the Twins turn down the Dodgers multiple times? If there was a chance to get back 1 or 2 near MLB ready SP’s then holding on to Morneau, his $14m 2013 contract, with Parmelee raking in AAA at the league minimum is completely indefensible.

    On Mauer, there will only be 2 teams that would make a claim, Boston and NYY. Boston doesn’t have anything the Twins need (near MLB ready SP’s). NYY does – Nova, Hughes, Banuelos, Pineda and Campos.

    The problem is – even though the Yankess could use an upgrade at C – they are going to win the division and the 1st round with or without Mauer. Why would they package assets and pickup the 140m+ remaining on Mauer’s contract?

    It is a real shame that Mauer will likely never get to play for the NYY or Sox. He would very likely go .360/.400/.550 at Fenway sailing 325 foot doubles off the Monster 50+ times a season. His bat also profiles well at Yankee Stadium, the ball carries to left center (Joe’s true power alley) and he could learn how to hook the 1st pitch get-me-over-fastballs he recieves every at bat into the short porch in RF.

    This is still all fantasy land though – as it sits, the NYY don’t need another expensive left handed bat, and the Sox have nothing the Twins covet, so my guess is he goes unclaimed or someone claims him just to block the Sox or NYY (Bal, Tex).

  6. Matt Lawton, Hero to the AAC | Reply

    By the way, a NYY package of Nova, Pineda, Campos and the Yanks pick up all of Mauer’s salary would be the godfather offer the Twins just couldn’t refuse.

    This is also as likely as the Vikings finishing over .500 this season.

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