Minnesota Twins: Should he Stay or Should he Go? The Twins, Mauer, and 2019.
As mentioned earlier, Mauer currently sits as the 2nd highest paid first basemen in the majors. Just for comparison, Paul Goldschmidt who many would consider a better first baseman currently is 11th among major league first basemen at $8,850,000.
It always has seemed in a way unfair to judge Mauer by this contract since he was signed on it to be a plus at an entirely different position. Unfortunately, that is the world we live in and fans have 23 million reasons to judge Mauer each year. Fairly or not, it is what happens.
Looking at FanGraphs formula that uses WAR to calculate salary, Mauer is currently valued at 13.4 million dollars. That places him between Ryan Zimmerman (#8) and Eric Hosmer (#9) on this year’s salary rankings. This formula is just that a formula. It isn’t perfect but it does give us a starting point in determining Mauer’s value on the field.
In pure speculation that might be where the conversation starts for Mauer after the 2018 season. It may go a little higher depending on how the first base market is shaped at that time. Maybe Mauer will just want to stay in Minnesota and play any role he can to bring a World Series title to the state again. Recently, similar first basemen to Mauer on the free agent market have been earning $4-5M per season without Mauer’s marketability. The question might be, is paying Mauer 13-14 million dollars per year a good investment for the 2019 Twins, do they hold the line at $5-6 million, or do they want to replace him entirely on the roster?