All winter all I kept hearing from so-called baseball experts was that Twins catcher Joe Mauer was destined to be in a Red Sox or Yankees uniform in 2011, as he could walk away as a free agent after this season. Despite the fact the Twins are a small market club, there was no way they would let a local guy like him leave, and certainly not to any of the big market Eastern teams.
And all winter I insisted to anyone who would listen that Mauer was going nowhere, that the Twins would bust open the bank for him. And guess who was proven right?
The Twins are announcing today that they have signed the three-time batting champion to an eight-year extension for $184 million, with a no-trade clause as well.
It's a smart move by both sides. Here's more on the contract, the largest one ever for a backstop. I'm actually glad Mauer is staying put, and that one of the small-market clubs is poning up to keep one of the great players in baseball. It's good for the game in general.