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Everybody knew then and should remember now that the thing with the contract and why it was necessary basically had nothing to do with Mauer on the field so much as that it needed to be done because having the homegrown hero go to a big market would be close to a psychological death-blow to baseball in the Twin Cities.
I doubt there is anything to support this. It's an extremely far fetched statement.
Though I grant that that's what delusional Twins fans were thinking at the time.
Player OPS+ PA ISO AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPSJoe Mauer 136 5060 .145 4378 1414 282 20 105 616 564 .323 .405 .468 .873Keith Hernandez 132 5770 .147 4946 1486 304 53 105 746 667 .300 .391 .447 .838
EDIT: The bigger point is that it's going to be tough for Mauer to play up to his pay if he's primarily a 1B; that's at least 6 full-time 1B (Helton's gone, Teix needs a big bounce-back) who are likely to hit considerably better than Mauer, and that doesn't even include the guys like Goldschmidt and Davis who haven't been paid yet
Mauer may not be worth his contact at 1st - but right now it's a position with a ton of money in it. His contract to production ratio is not in any way out of the norm.
Mauer got a bump (relative to what the Twins would normally have given him), because he is a hometown hero. That is 100% sure, and in fact various Twins officials have said as much. MN is a bit parochial that way, and it annoys me a fair amount, but there it is.
Now obviously it would not have led to the death of baseball or anything had they let him go, but it would have hurt the Twins a great deal with the fans in the short term, which is of course why they gave him the extra money.
Votto is better (due to 29 homers a year to 14 for Mauser) but they are similar hitters.
playing baseball in the Twin Cities suburbs
St. Paul residents would get really irritated by that comment. They have enough of an inferiority complex already without being called a suburb.
But, no, I don't think there's good reason to think Mauer will do better as a hitter now that he's at 1B.
Thanks for putting that together.
Heck, it was only a few months ago we were hearing the same thing about Mike Napoli, who didn't end up improving much on his rate stats, but at least did the same thing while playing a lot more.
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