Press conference is scheduled for 6pm CST tomorrow.
Thanks to Joe C at the Strib, the contract includes a full no-trade clause. It covers 2011 - 2018, which means that Joe Mauer will play 2010 for the financial terms of that contract. It also means that he'll be with the Twins through his age-35 season. How strange is that to think about?
In 2010, Mauer will still make $12.5 million this season--or, at $3.5 million per marginal win, Minnesota is paying their All-Star catcher like a three-and-a-half win player. Using that same context going forward, as the Twins will pay Joe $23 million per season from 2011 to 2018:
|Expected $$ at 4 WAR||$14 MM|
|Expected $$ at 6 WAR||$21 MM|
|Expected $$ at 8 WAR||$28 MM|
That chart, of course, is based on that $3.5 million per marginal win scale. As the US economy rebounds, so will the baseball financial markets, and this number (currently the lowest in years) will rise again. Consequently the financial side of the deal will look better than it already does as time goes forward, as $23 million in 2018 dollars won't be worth as much as it is today. (That sounds ridiculous...but it's all relative.)
Of course we'll be able to evaluate how the Twins are paying Mauer (per marginal win) much more accurately next season, before the Twins actually start paying him the additional cash. But in today's dollars, $184 million would translate to approximately 52.6 wins above replacement over the life of the contract.
I can't tell you how ecstatic I am about this. Right now, this looks like a fantastic deal for both sides. It's a very fair deal, particularly when you expect baseball's financial market to rebound in coming seasons. As long as Joe stays healthy, that is.
Congratulations to Mauer and the Twins for working this out, and for working it out where it should have been worked out: behind the scenes.
Mark Topkin of TampaBay.com: Mauer signing with the Twins does the Rays a favor.