Mauer and the Monster?

Evan at “Fire Brand of the AL” wrote a story yesterday about the possibility of Joe Mauer coming to “Beantown”. 

The possibility could also extend to New York, and a few other teams in need of a catcher, who also possess deep pockets. 

The Red Sox have those “deep pockets,” and the Yankees do even more so. 

The Red Sox need a catcher, and the Yankees might this season too.  And if not this season then definitely very soon after.

Whether I would want the Red Sox to surrender the prospects needed to require Joe Mauer–even as great as he is– is another story.  Mauer is one of the absolute best players in baseball.  And even if the Twins cannot afford to keep him (although they may possibly ante-up), I don’t know that trading away multiple prospects AND paying Mauer $20 million is a great idea.  Especially with the volatility of the catching position.  Although, Mauer would not be locked up until his late 30’s, rather his early 30’s. 

So who knows if this would even be an issue.  But Mauer has had a few durability questions already, so it isn’t too far out of the realm of possibility that he will need to shift to another position–ultimately decreasing his overall value.

But this is really just about the scenario of a great hitter like Joe Mauer playing “Pepper” with the Green Monster.  And how great that would be to watch. 

Joe Mauer is a great hitter.  A great hitter regardless of position.  It isn’t just the batting titles that he has won that makes him great.  It is the ability to get on base via the walk PLUS the ability to win a batting title.  And Mauer is actually above average in the power department, even though his home run totals might indicate otherwise. 

And of course, as I have mentioned before, Mauer is now a catcher, which makes him even greater.

But Mauer goes to the opposite field a lot, something other great hitters have taken advantage of when they called their home Fenway.  Wade Boggs being the most obvious comparison, as his hitting ability was pretty close to what Mauer’s style of hitting happens to be.  Both have won batting titles, both draw a good number of walks, both can hit the ball well to the opposite field, and neither hit all that many home runs. 

So Joe Mauer can hit the ball well to the opposite field.  19.2% of Mauer’s balls that were hit in the air, in 2008, went to left field.  23% went to center.  And only 4% of Mauer’s flyballs were pulled to right field. 

So you can see how I am giddy just thinking about the possibility.  Mauer doesn’t possess an incredible ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark, and that is no different hitting the ball the other way.  So Mauer would benefit greatly from the Monster’s kindness.  More routine flyballs would turn into doubles, but very few balls would be kept in the yard, that otherwise would have left at an average stadium. 

I can think of few scenarios less intriguing within the game of baseball than that of “Mauer and the Monster.”  I don’t know that it would be worth 3-4 good prospects, but I know that it would be a privelege to watch.  

10 Comments

At 6’5″, I just can’t imagine Mauer remaining at the catcher position for an entire career. An OBP of .413 at the age of 25 can’t be denied, though. I wonder if Gardenhire’s doing him any favors by DHing him on his “off days,” but his bat is impressive, without a doubt.

I hadn’t heard that the Sox were thinking of trading Mauer this year. I thought people were looking ahead to the end of his current contract before he’d be out of Minnesota. Seems a foolish move for the Twins, who have two perennial MVP candidates with him and Morneau.

http://houston.mlblogs.com

Well, I am not sure that they are exploring it. It was written on the other site that I blog at. That is why I wrote about it.

Mauer could be a great hitter in Fenway Park. He hit .400 there in 2008, with an OBP of .538.

The park is designed for a guy who hits like he does with power and line drive ability. I do however see him like some other catcher have done coming out from behind the plate and going either into the first baseman’s slot, or as a Designated Hitter.
His average and power would be a positive where ever he is in the lineup.

But unless Minnesota drops out of the race early, I really do not see this happening this year. But in 2010, you never know. Also with the new ballpark coming in 2010, would they phase out one of their future stars before he gets some people in the new outdoor seats?

I guess we shall see what happens here………

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Whatever happens, I’m confident that Theo will make the correct decision. The Red Sox need a catcher. If I were Theo, I’d be willing to part with Buchholz for Max Ramirez, Jarrod Saltalamachia, or Taylor Teagarden. The first two, however, need defensive work. If there’s a fire-sale in Detroit this season, Liard could also be an option. Texas’s GM is willing to do Buchholz for Salty tomorrow. If I were Theo, I’d do it. Though he’s a much smarter man than I and he probably has good reasons for not doing so. The most ideal situation for the Red Sox is Mauer doesn’t sign an extension then a team like Oakland acquires him for the final 2 months of his team control. Then, the Red Sox forfeit their 2nd round pick to sign Mauer. Any way, I’m confident Theo will play it well. I’d appreciate your thoughts as a Red Sox fan on this article: http://www.braveslaunchpad.com/?p=2509

I have faith in Theo also BUT I’m with you Joe – we need to be careful what we give up if we are going to trade for Mauer.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Saltalamacchia happens to wear a mask and crouch behind the plate, but he’s hardly a catcher. If that kid doesn’t move to another position and soon, I will be shocked. Shocked, I tell you!

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of a Pennant

Ya, he’s um, defensively challenged? Anyway, my bet is that Salty becomes a 1B long-term. They’ve got Chris Davis there right now, but he’s a natural 3B and I think Michael Young probably gets moved soon because he’s most valuable playing SS. In 2010 I bet their infield looks like 1B- Salty, 2B- Kinsler, SS- Andrus, 3B- Davis, C- Teagarden. That leaves Max Ramirez as either an extremely talented back-up or he gets moved. Wow, the Rangers are going to be good for a very, very long time. That’s a very stacked infield.

And thanks for your thoughts on my Smoltz article, Joe.

That Young contract will be tough to move though.

Ya, you’re right. I was unaware he made 16 million dollars every year until 2013. They might as well try to move Chris Davis and keep Michael Young at 3rd.

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