Will Joe Mauer become a free agent?

joem If the Twins don’t sign Joe Mauer to an extension he will become a free agent after the 2010 season as a 27 year old  catcher who has won at least two batting titles and had at least 2 all star appearances.

I can imagine that a huge bidding war would ensue and who do you think would be the contenders?  Well the Yankees and the Red Sox of course. The Red Sox will be in dire need of a catcher with Jason Veritek being a shell of the Catcher he once was (although this year he is showing a resurgence of power it wont last) and no decent prospects on the horizon. The Red Sox would love a guy like Joe Mauer to help replace some of that lost offensive power with Manny Ramirez  being gone and  David Ortiz being in a permanent slump. (the steroids must have got to risky eh Papi).

The Yankees will be needing a catcher as well. Posada just signed a 4 year deal that he will never be able to catch the last two years. Originally the plan was probably to move Posada to first base when his old body could not catch 100 games . Now with Mark Texiera holding that position for probably the rest of his baseball career. Posada will become the Yankees full time DH and maybe the back up catcher. Imagine this line up in 2011 for the Yankees

1. Austin Jackson

2.Derek Jeter (probably his last year)

3. Mark Texiera

4. Alex Rodrieguez

5, Joe Mauer

6. Jorge Posada

7. Robinson Cano

8. Melky Cabrera

9. Brett Gardner or other

There really would be no easy outs and a line up like that and would have the potential of being the best in baseball.

Now on to the money how much would all this cost the Yankees, Red Sox or any other team? I’m speculating around 6 years and 170 million dollars. Yes that is a lot of scratch but lets take a quick review of what he has accomplished so far in his career. sense hitting the scene in 2004 he has a career .322 batting average and a .404 OBP he also two all star appearances and has won the batting title twice. What is he doing now? Lets see …oh yeah he has a .414 average with 11 HR and 32 RBI’s. Now Joe is not known as a power hitter but at his current pace he would hit 30+HR and 100 RBI. That is awesome in anyone’s book. Now I don’t believe his numbers will be that good but I have him done for a career year of around 25 homers and 85 RBI’s. Next year he will do the same and who knows maybe pick up another batting title along the way.

Mauer wants to stay in Minnesota and I’m sure that the Twins would love to keep him. however history tells us that they aren’t exactly big spenders. They weren’t willing to pay to keep Tori Hunter or Johan Santana so unless Mauer is willing to give one hell of a hometown discount or starts to suck between now and the end of the 2010 season he will be a bit out of their price range. So what do you think? Where would you like to see Mauer go? I’m sure there will be other suitors as well perhaps the Mets or the Dodgers? Ultimately I think the pinstripes will prevail but only time will tell.

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