Now that the Twins season is over the contract watch officaially begins. Will the Twins be able to keep him, will they trade him or will he leave as a free agent.
Twins catcher Joe Mauer, coming off his best season as a pro, is eligible for free agency following the 2010 season and said he plans to fly to Baltimore in the next few weeks to visit with agent Ron Shapiro to discuss his future. ... If Mauer needs a physical between now and the beginning of the season, it would be for a good reason for the Twins. That would mean he's taking the standard precautionary physical after agreeing to a contract extension. Mauer said he plans to take a few weeks to evaluate the season before meeting with Shapiro, and showed no signs of being impatient about his contract. "I'm not a guy who will say that I need something done," said Mauer, who made $10.5 million this season and will earn $12.5 million next season. "I think things will work themselves out. I'm not in a big hurry to do anything," Mauer said. -- Star Tribune
If Twins GM Bill Smith, who refuses to answer questions about contract negotiations, can't sign Joe Mauer before next season, the team almost certainly would have to trade the catcher to avoid losing him to free agency for nothing more than compensatory draft picks. Mauer said he hasn't thought about playing for any other team. If Mauer goes to free agency, he'd likely get one of the richest, if not the richest, contracts in baseball history. He's just 26 years old and has won three batting titles, a Gold Glove and two Silver Sluggers, and this year is in the running for his first MVP award. His .365 batting average in 2009 is the highest single-season average for a catcher in baseball history. And this season, as he added points to his average, he added power as well, hitting 28 home runs with 96 runs batted in. -- Pioneer Press