Now, looking at what you just saw, if it isn’t yet apparent as to why Mauer doesn’t belong, it should be. In baseball, contracts are very little about the numerical value placed on a player in terms of dollars and cents. More often, contracts act as a comparison mark for one player to another. That is to say, the money doesn’t really matter considering there is no spending limit, but a player is paid based on the comparison to their peers.
For Joe Mauer, the Twins spent more money than they ever have in franchise history. However, Mauer’s contract does not limit the team when looking to spend elsewhere. Although he is not going to hit home runs or drive in runners at the same level as a traditional first basemen, he brings a marketing value that is capitalized most in his home state, and he is still an above average level player.
Can you make the argument in hindsight that the Twins paid Mauer too much? Of course you can. However, at the time of signing, you’d be hard pressed to believe that any other team wouldn’t have paid him more. While Joe Mauer’s contract may not be reflective of his worth in regards to his peers, it’s hardly as ugly as some of the ones mentioned.
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