After clearing waivers, Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer is now available for any team that would like to acquire him via trade. The amazing thing is that with the shortage of good hitting catchers in either league, no team seems to be jumping to get Mauer. The New York Mets would seem like a perfect fit for this 29yr old catcher that can actually hit the ball and defend his position.
The draw back for Sandy Alderson and the Mets is the size of the contract. Mauer is signed until 2019 when he will turn 35, but he is only owed $23mill over that span. Sure, the length is an issue, but is the money? You’re talking only about $4mill/yr over the life of the contract. That should not be a hindrance to the Mets being that Jason Bay and Johan Santana can be off the books in 2013.
Mauer would fill a nice platoon with Kelly Shoppach and the Mets can always see what kind of package they can put Josh Thole in to fill one of the outfield positions. Mauer was an All-Star this year who is hitting .309 with 8HRs and 66RBIs and although he will only have three to four more years as a catcher, they can slowly ween him into the 1B slot in the future.
After seeing how the Mets handled going into the MLB trade deadline, I can not honestly believe that they would make a play for Mauer, and I’m sure fans would love to see the move. Thole has not shown the defensive capabilities and his hitting has not matured to the point the organization can trust in him to lead the club from the catcher position. That is why they brought in Shoppach. Now they must decide if they want to improve more in a relatively inexpensive way.
With the way the starting pitching has been, that would leave only the outfield to have concerns about going into the offseason. But don’t expect the Mets to bite on Mauer and fans will be once again left to wonder what direction this club is really heading. All I know is that to move forward, David Wright and Ike Davis are going to need some help, and this is one way to show that the Mets are serious about building.
**Correction: Mauer is to be paid $23M/yr over 6 years, not $4M/yr as earlier stated. This would still be a good fit for the Mets as they will be ridding themselves of huge contracts soon.
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