How do they relate? Well, I can think of a way.
As he often does, Craig Calcaterra over at The Harball Times has come up with an interesting thing to think about. This time, in regards to the recent extension Chipper Jones signed to stay with the Braves:
Seriously though, for Braves fans this is one of those things that transcends objective analysis. I really don’t care what his injury risk is. I really don’t care how much money it’s for. At some point and with some players you have to throw that stuff out the window, and Jones is the player you do that for in Atlanta. He’s the Braves’ Al Kaline, and that’s the kind of guy you never want to see in another uniform, no matter how much of a shadow of his former self he becomes by the end of the deal.Obviously Chipper is 11 years older than Mauer, and it’s way too early to be thinking about that. But I have the distinct feeling that a lot of people already feel the same way about Mauer.
That he needs to stay a Twin, even if it costs a lot of money and for the last few years of his career he’s a hobbled, limping shell of the player he used to be. That if the Twins allow him to leave for another team, for whatever reason, it would be an abject failure.
I don’t know how I feel about this. On one level I want Mauer to stay a Twin forever. But I know he won’t be able to turn down $200M from the Yankees or Red Sox.
And I don’t think the Twins should compete with them to sign him like that, because by the end of that contract he’d be in his mid-thirties, getting paid $20M or so to be a backup catcher. Or a below average defensive catcher. Or a below average offensive third baseman. Or something other than what he is today.
I doubt I’m going to want to put myself in the situation where I might resent Mauer for being an overpaid albatross dragging down the Twins. And even though it’s like 10+ years away, I think it’s worth thinking about. (When players sign for 10 years, you have to be able to think 10 years ahead. Or at least try to.)
What does everyone think? Is it worth it to the team to ensure that their star players stay for their whole careers, even if it hurts them on the field? Do you want Mauer to be a Twin when he’s 37?31 comments