As a huge Twins fan my whole life, I felt privileged to see Kirby resign with Minnesota, and really felt betrayed when Hunter chose to go elsewhere. I was becoming more ok with losing him, after witnessing the next big thing, and that was Joe Mauer. Sure I'd seen him while Hunter was here, but after the last two seasons, who doesn't want to continually see this guy play on your team. There is no way to defensively scheme for him. You cheat one way, he rips it the other. You play close, he drives it to the wall. You pitch it high, he drives it over, low he hits the gap. The man can hit just about any pitch, anywhere, and has been a staple to the Twins lineup. All that seems to be unraveling faster than a sweater with a loose thread in a house full of cats. After two weeks of Spring Training, we are still without a contract for Might Joe, and it appears talks have stalled. Some people are still quite optimistic, but can anyone really say that they are feeling good about it right now? One source has said that Mauer and co. has turned down a 22 mil. 8 year deal. Supposedly he wants 25 mil. That's all well and good, but if you want your money now, you are going to lose a few dollars.
I don't want to paint Joe as the bad guy, he's the best player in baseball. He's going to make that money next year if he walks, but if it isn't and never has been about money, what is that extra three? If it's never been about money, why is that the thing preventing the deal from being signed. Joe Mauer is a cornerstone for this team, but if we go into opening day without a signed and sealed contract, we are already too late. We need to be exploring trade options now, in case something doesn't happen. I believe Ramos is ready enough to be a starter at catcher, and Bueterra could be a backup I suppose until Morales gets back, and of course Joe is going to garner a lot of value from a team, so we would make good on an investment, but let's face it. Even if we get five Albert Pujols caliber bats to play second, third, short, right field, left field, wherever, are we really going to feel satisfied? No Joe Mauer for the next eight years. That would be upsetting to everyone. Hockey, Viking's chokes in big games, snow, and Joe Mauer, subtract the latter and we have nothing but Cause for Depression, and a little bit of fighting. Let's hope some sort of miracle happens, but I'm losing hope. Let's start to explore who has what available.