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Reviewing the Joe Mauer Contract Winter Distraction Special

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It's a good of a time as any to review recent history, what with Joe Mauer's agent Ron Shapiro flying into Fort Myers today.

October 13: Kelly Theiser of MLB.com says Mauer had spoken to Shapiro about contract-related issues, but notes it was nothing serious.

October 30: Theiser reporting again, this time assuring Twins fans across the globe that Mauer's patience isn't a sign that he's not interested. Which, for anyone who's known Joe as Twins fans have, isn't a big surprise. Mauer's fire burns inside. This is the first time we hear that Mauer believes things will work out in their own time, and that it shouldn't be a race to the finish line.

November 11: Charlie Walters of the Pioneer Press reports that the Twins and Mauer have begun contract discussions.

November 12: Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune refutes Walter's report, saying talks actually hadn't started.

November 24: Christensen reports indications that the Twins may attempt to sign Mauer by the end of the year.

November 29: Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune speculates that Mauer would take less to stay in Minnesota, insomuch as he's likely to sign a contract that would pay him less than he'd receive on the open market. This is usually true for most players, particularly when they're happy where they are. Rogers speculated Mauer would get $20 million per, over six to eight years.

November 30: Walters reports Mauer is looking for at least a seven year contract.

December 1: Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan reports that, according to someone close to the situation, Mauer wanted a deal done by spring training. According to Passan, if a deal wasn't done by then Mauer would test free agency.

December 1: Hours later, Theiser reports that Mauer has denied Passan's rumor. Mauer was quoted as saying: "I'm not going to react to every story/rumor that comes out or comment on any negotiations. As far as that report, I don't know where that came from."

December 4: At his Star Tribune blog, La Velle E. Neal III says the Twins still hadn't engaged Mauer in serious contract discussions, and that no deadline was set to complete the deal.

December 29: Walters, citing an industry source, says Mauer could fetch $30 million per season on the open market.

January 25: Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal speculates that contract talks would heat up in the last week of January. Both sides had been in constant contact for some time, and all parties would be in one place for ESPN's "Homecoming with Rick Reilly".

January 29: Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated reports that the Twins and Mauer have opened contract negotiations. The source was Mauer's agent, Ron Shapiro.

January 29: Later the same day, the Associated Press reports that Ron Gardenhire is "optimistic" that a deal would be done soon.

February 1: Christensen reports two sources who indicated expectations that the Twins would sign Mauer in the not-too-distant future. Money and years were agreed upon, according to the sources, with details like deferred payments still being discussed.

February 1: Later that day, Mark Rosen of WCCO reports that the Twins and Mauer agreed to a 10-year contract.

February 1: Still later that day, ESPN's Buster Olney is the first to refute Rosen's report. He sites a source close to the team who says the 10-year extension isn't accurate.

February 1: Heyman says that in spite of the false start on the contract anouncement, a deal could be finalized within the next few days. According to Heyman, sources close to the negotiations say the deal would be for seven or eight years and in the range of $20 million per.

February 1: In a tweet, MLB.com's Peter Gammons says it could be quite some time before a deal is completed.

February 7: Back at the Chicago Tribune, Rogers reports that a deal may be for eight years, but not ten.

February 9: Twins owner Jim Pohlad believes deferred money isn't a good idea, saying that you might as well "pay a player while he's playing for you".

February 21: Mauer reports to camp.

March 4: Shapiro flies into Fort Myers. LEN III says talks have slowed recently, but says that the sides are expected to hold face-to-face talks.