Praise the holy Joesus. Joe Mauer has signed an 8 year deal worth 184 million according to Joe Christensen at the Star Tribune. Also according to (the other) Joe, Mauer gets a full no trade clause.
This keeps Mauer in Minnesota through his age 35 season. Since Mauer will be making 23 million a year, in order for this to be a “good” deal Mauer needs to have value somewhere in there.
Mauer last year was worth 8 fWAR (that’s Fangraphs WAR), without even factoring in his defense. 8 WAR multiplied by the current cost per win (3.5 million) = 28 million.
Now, I highly doubt Mauer is going to keep up that pace. Both Fangraphs readers and CHONE have him projected for 7.3 WAR next year, but I don’t think he will be quite that good. Averaging out my estimations for Mauer, I came up with a little over 6.3 WAR over the course of the contract. That would make Mauer’s value roughly 22 million per year, which would be a shade overpaying.
However, it is very unlikely that the economy will be in the shape it is in right now by the time the Mauer contract is over. As such, teams will be likely to spend more as the years go on, making the contract more valuable. Not to mention that simple old inflation will make his contract worth “less.” Also, Mauer is the face of the Twins and their franchise player. Overpaying for him, even though I don’t think they did, would make sense. With all the jersey and T shirt sales Mauer will catalyze, this should be a very mutually beneficial partnership.