Mauer would be great catch
Mauer would be great catch
Boston Red Sox - Mauer would be great catch - The Boston Globe
MINNEAPOLIS - How about this for a pregame presentation fantasy: Red Sox catcher Joe Mauer stands on the mound and J.D. Drew trots in from right field. Drew takes off his No. 7 jersey and gives it to Mauer. Underneath, Drew is now wearing No. 77.
OK, it's a little corny and a little far-fetched, but if Jason Varitek can hold on for another year, the timing would be perfect.
Mauer, who will be 27 when he becomes a free agent after next season, could solve the Red Sox' catching problems for almost a decade. We're making a big assumption - perhaps wishful thinking - that the Twins won't be able to sign Mauer, a native Minnesotan, to a lifetime contract that likely would take the form of $200 million for 10 years.
The Twins should have new revenue streams with their $400 million Target Field opening next season. That likely would make the commitment possible - unless they know more about the back condition that sidelined the catcher in spring training and the first month of the season than they're letting on.
Mauer and Justin Morneau are the faces of the Twins organization. Mauer is a great hitter - already a two-time batting champion - and a great athlete. After next season, he could be the most sought-after free agent in years, which is why the Twins may have to take a big gulp and pony up the biggest contract ever.
If they don't, the usual suspects - Red Sox, Yankees, Mets, etc. - will be waiting.
The contract appears to be a distant thought for Mauer because he has spent so much time trying to come back from a back injury that took many weeks to diagnose and treat.
On Monday, Mauer was not in the lineup against the Red Sox. He sat for eight innings, then picked up a bat in the ninth to pinch hit for backup catcher Mike Redmond.
With Jonathan Papelbon on to protect a 6-3 lead, Mauer put a beautiful swing on the ball and drove it over the wall in right-center for a two-run homer, though the Twins still lost, 6-5.
It was his 11th homer in 81 at-bats (he had 9 in 536 at-bats last season; his career high is 13 in 2006). He has driven in 31 runs in May.
Despite going 0 for 3 last night, Mauer is batting .429 with an off-the-charts 1.400 OPS. He has a .322 career batting average. Last year, he won his first Gold Glove.
The only knock there has ever been on Mauer was that he didn't hit for power, that he had a little Wade Boggs/Ichiro Suzuki thing going, where he didn't want to sacrifice batting average for power. But Mauer says he hasn't changed a thing about the way he swings the bat.Continued...
The Boston Globe is always throwing stuff like this around.
Mauer would be a great pickup for any team.
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