The Minnesota Twins can sometimes be viewed as one of those teams where a big name player can’t last. That label doesn’t stick when it comes to All-star catcher Joe Mauer. He is currently signed to a long term deal that will pay him twenty-three million dollars each of the next six years until he is thirty-five years old. Give the Twins credit where credit is due. They might not hang on to all of the promising young talent they have but they made sure to hold on to Mauer.
Some might say that is a bit of a mistake. Could the Twins be a more balanced team each season if they didn’t pay Mauer so much each year? Eh, possibly but not necessarily. How many teams have decent defensive catchers that don’t quite make the grade on offense? I would say most of them. Catcher is such a crucial position that it’s even acceptable for a catcher to be great defensively and non-existent on offense. That is why players like Johnny Bench and Mike Piazza are so legendary. It is rare to see a catcher put up those numbers and Mauer is capable of it on a regular basis.
Mauer has played other positions than catcher a few times but he still is a catcher while playing some first base. Of course the DH is always possible in the American League. Regardless of this, Mauer is well on his way to carving his name alongside Bench and Piazza as one of the best all time offensive catchers. Why wouldn’t the Twins want him to stick around for his entire career? This isn’t a player you trade away in return for talent to build a team. This is a player you build your team around.