Reasons to Bring Mauer back in 2019
As was alluded to earlier, Mauer has become one of the top defenders at his position in 2017. This really should come as no surprise as Mauer has always been considered a supreme athlete and was highly sought after as a high school athlete. We should expect success for Mauer as he moved from a highly difficult defensive position to one considered less difficult.
Currently, Mauer is second among first basemen in UZR and UZR/150. He sits just behind Brandon Belt in those categories and his 5.9 UZR puts him 21st overall among position players. Stats sometimes can only tell us part of the story, but Mauer has been passing the eye test in many ways as well. He has made plenty of diving stops and scooped most throws that have come his way.
In addition to his defense, Mauer is still an on base machine. Even in the past years when he was quickly labelled as a drain on the lineup, he continued to get on base at a good rate. In OBP, Mauer ranks 22nd overall in the majors this season. While most would like first base to provide power to a lineup, having a guy who gets on base well is still a good skill to keep around.
Finally, even though this should be far from the driving reason to keep Mauer around, he is still one of “us”. There is potential for a public relations nightmare if the Twins don’t make a valid attempt to resign Mauer after 2018.