I'm not surprised that Mauer has told the Twins he wants a deal done before the start of next season. I think that this puts more pressure on the Twins to get it done now that this is public. Mauer is one of the few Twins to get national attention and so it's normal for the national media to want to know if Mauer will stay in MN or will they get the chance to show how smart they are and guess who will get to sign him (where is the sarcasm font when you need it?).
The story seems to think that Mauer will get more than Jeter but less than ARod money. I have no idea if that is right but I do agree with the story on this point, If Mauer becomes a free agent the Twins have no chance in signing him. The Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, and Dodgers all could use a catcher in 2011. Or Torii and the Angels could come out of nowhere and make a bid. I can not imagine any of the larger market teams passing on the chance to sign Mauer.
I hope the Twins are able to sign Mauer to a long term deal. It would be very hard to see him play for any other team but I know that it could happen. I'm just hoping it doesn't.