All-Star catcher Joe Mauer and Minnesota completed an eight-year, $184 million deal, a contract which will inevitably be hailed within baseball as an example that teams like the Twins do have a chance to keep their homegrown talent.
The deal, which includes a full no-trade clause, ranks in scope with only Alex Rodriguez's 10-year, $275 million contract and Derek Jeter's 10-year, $189 million contract.
It comes with a full no-trade clause and means Mauer will stay in Minnesota for what is likely the rest of his career.
Look, I will be the first to admit that I would have loved to see Mauer in a Boston outfit. But the simple truth is that a deal like this is good for the game. MLB needs great players in middle-tier and small-tier franchises to stay with those franchises. The specter of teams like Pittsburgh, Minnesota and others becoming nothing more than feeder clubs for the MLB elite should frighten us all.
Of course, that means that those teams have to pony up the cash. And Minnesota made a very, very good offer to keep Mauer. If only teams like Pittsburgh and Florida would do the same thing, instead of pocketing their excess cash. Because now Twins fans have every expectation to believe that their team is serious about competing and winning, and will reward them accordingly. Fans of a team like Pittsburgh will spend 2010 watching Andrew McCutchen and counting the years down until the Bucs cut him loose or trade him away. How do you think that will translate into attendance?
Besides, I really want to see Luis Exposito get a shot at catching for the Sox in a year or two. He has a chance to be quite good and I am looking forward to seeing him play in Portland this year.