• Thinking the Unthinkable: Trade Joe Mauer?

    This article was originally posted at Knuckleballsblog.com.

    This is what happens when the offseason rolls around and I really have no rooting interest among the four remaining MLB teams in the respective League Championship Series. I write 2000 words about something that will never, ever happen. At least that’s what happened to me Sunday.

    But it’s not my fault. I’m blaming my fellow Knuckleballs blogger, Eric, and this Sunday morning Tweet:

    @
    ERolfPleiss
    Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says Red Sox should target Mauer and/or Morneau this winter. #MNTwins http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2012/10/13/few-ideas-shore-red-sox-roster/npiJ3r49NrtnhnGInPoQ1L/story.html …

    Having nothing better to do, I clicked the link to Cafardo’s article, which goes through several possible moves the Red Sox could make to get their team back on track, starting with trading for Joe Mauer. Cafardo mentions that the Red Sox are reportedly a bit gunshy about taking on more expensive long-term contracts and wonders if the Twins would eat some of his salary. On the other hand, if you’re the Twins, the only reason to deal Mauer would be to get out from under that contract. Putting those factors together, you quickly conclude that any such deal is beyond unlikely and bordering on unthinkable.

    But this is the offseason and what’s the offseason for if not to think about the unthinkable?

    I’m not surprised to see a Boston writer bring up Mauer’s name as a possible target for the Red Sox. In fact, given how old and fragile the Yankees line up is looking, I’d be shocked if Mauer’s name didn’t appear in more than one New York writer’s “How to Fix the Yankees” column in coming weeks, as well.

    Joe Mauer (Knuckleballs photo)

    But there are any number of logical reasons why Joe Mauer won’t be going anywhere. Local boy. Popular with local fans. Historically great hitting catcher. Huge contract. No-trade clause. The list goes on.

    But if you’ll promise not to misinterpret this as an article suggesting that Mauer either should or will be traded, let’s at least take a look at whether there are any circumstances under which Terry Ryan might actually consider a discussion.

    Let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that Boston GM Ben Cherington places a call to Ryan and asks the simple question, “Can we talk about Joe Mauer?”

    Understand, it’s unlikely that question would even be asked. Cherington is unlikely to be looking to take on $23 million per year long-term contracts. Still, as Cafardo points out, Mauer would fit nicely in to a line up that would accommodate a catcher/1B/DH like Mauer. He might also set some kind of modern-day record for doubles in Fenway Park. Bringing in a legitimate superstar would send a strong message to Red Sox Nation that the team has no intention of taking several years to rebuild their brand. And let’s be honest, the Red Sox can afford to pay Mauer his money. They freed up a lot of payroll space with their late-season deals and if they decide to let David Ortiz walk away, they’ll have even more money to play with.

    So just maybe the Red Sox could see themselves calling about Mauer. But should the Twins even answer that call? That answer may not be as obvious as many fans think.

    The Twins gave Mauer an excessive contract before the 2010 season because they could not afford, from a public relations standpoint, not to sign him at any price he and his agent demanded. Opening a new stadium built largely with public funding, with virtually every seat bought and paid for through season tickets (and a waiting list of people willing to replace any holder who drops out), there was no way the Twins could allow themselves to be seen as letting the local hero get away because they didn’t want to pay for him. For the first time in franchise history, money really didn’t matter.

    But those days are nothing more than a misty memory today. The Twins are coming off of consecutive seasons of more than 95 losses and attendance is dropping. Put those factors together and it wouldn’t be unrealistic to expect the Twins to slash payroll for the second straight offseason. Today, money does matter. Paying one player $23 million dollars when your total payroll is $110 million is one thing. Doing so when your total payroll is $85 million is something else, altogether.

    Still, it’s not like the Twins are destitute, either. With the money coming off the books after the past season, Terry Ryan has enough payroll to work with to make improvements to his team. There aren’t a lot of top of the rotation pitchers out there, but there are plenty of more reasonably priced arms on the market and he even has a couple of trade chips he can afford to flip for pitching if he wants to go that direction. Also, despite what some folks might think, Joe Mauer is still really, really good at baseball and he’s likely to stay good for a number of years. You don’t just give that kind of talent away for a handful of magic beans (or in this case, for just a few million dollars of payroll space).

    What this all means is that if, as Cafardo suggests, Cherington asks TR whether the Twins would eat any of Mauer’s contract, the answer would be (or at least should be), “hell no!” But what if Boston agrees to take on that contract?

    Conventional wisdom in these kinds of trades is that the team trading a big contract either gets high level prospects back by eating some salary OR gets marginal prospects back while dumping the entire contract. That’s considered “fair return.”

    Yet the Red Sox themselves managed to not only unload more debt owed to
    less talented players on to the Dodgers a couple of months ago, but got legitimate talent back in return, as well. They should be congratulated for that. They should also be reminded of that when they call the Twins about Joe Mauer. “Fair” is a relative term. “Fair” depends on how badly you want what I have. If you don’t want Mauer that badly, that’s fine. If you do, then shut up about “fair” and let’s get serious.

    There are 3-4 players in the Red Sox system that the Twins would have to target as possible players they’d need in return. I’m not any kind of expert on minor league players, but fortunately I know how to read things written by people who are. I also have a pretty good idea what the Twins need (then again, who doesn’t at this point?).

    Any discussion with the Red Sox about Mauer would have to start with the Twins dumping his entire contract AND getting at least one of the following players in return:

    Allen Webster
    : 22 year old right-handed starting pitcher that the Sox got from the Dodgers in the Crawford, et al, trade. He’s got a mid-90s fastball and strikes out nearly a batter per inning. He pitched in AA this season and should be a AAA arm to start 2013. He was the #2 prospect in the Dodgers organization prior to the trade.

    Matt Barnes
    : Righty starting pitcher was the Sox first round pick out of UConn in 2011 and covered both levels of A-ball in 2012. Barnes also has a mid-90s fastball and strikes out a ton of hitters. He’s likely to be a year behind Webster in terms of being Major League ready, however.

    Garin Cecchini
    : 21 year old 3B had a .305/.394/.433 split in high-A ball in 2012. He also stole 51 bases in 57 attempts. He hasn’t shown a lot of power yet but hits a ton of doubles. With Will Middlebrooks perhaps entrenched at 3B for the Red Sox, Cecchini could be blocked unless he’s converted to a 2B. The Twins could use help in either spot.

    Speaking of third basemen being blocked by Middlebrooks, the Red Sox top prospect is reportedly Xander Bogaerts. Bogaerts is playing shortstop and the Sox hope he can stay there but scouts have doubts about whether he will be able to do that. They think he will more likely need to move to 3B or, perhaps even more likely, a corner OF spot or 1B. He was just 19 years old through the past season but has already shown both an ability to hit for average and power through Class A and even in a month of games at AA. It sounds like Boston has their own version of Miguel Sano, but it’s unlikely they’d trade him for anyone. I wouldn’t.

    With Cecchini and Bogaerts knocking on the door, maybe Boston should consider trading Middlebrooks?

    A step below these guys would be someone like Henry Owens, who is a 20 year old string bean of a pitcher with what appears to be a lot of potential. He’s 6’7” and a bit over 200 pounds and only throws in the low 90s at this point. But he had 130 strikeouts in 101.2 innings at Class A in 2012 and that would certainly move him to the top of the Twins’ starting pitching prospects list in a hurry.

    If the Twins could score one of these top prospects from Boston in addition to shedding Mauer’s contract, Ryan could then be free to have conversations with his peers about Major League level pitching without being as concerned about salary. Would a trade for someone like James Shields (who has a $9 mil club option with the Rays in 2013) then be something worth considering?


    Terry Ryan (Knuckleballs photo)

    But even if Ryan and Cherington could come to some kind of agreement, what about that pesky no-trade clause in Mauer’s contract? Would he even consider giving approval? Let’s just say I no longer believe it’s necessarily a certainty that he’d say “no” to such a deal.

    On the one hand, Joe’s a very private person and it would seem that moving to a large-market team that is as dysfunctional as the Red Sox has been would be counter-intuitive. On the other hand, he’s a really big fish in a mid-market fishbowl and you wonder if he might not welcome the opportunity to be just one of many mega-stars in the New England sports scene. As Cafardo points out, Mauer also lives in Fort Myers in the offseason. Guess who, besides the Twins, has their Spring Training facility in Fort Myers? Yep… the Sawx.

    Let’s also be honest about something else. Despite the colossal belly flop of a season that the Red Sox had in 2012, if you were Mauer and were weighing the Sox against the Twins as to which organization was more likely to field a Championship level team over the remaining six years of your contract, there’s no doubt who you would see as being more likely. Boston may not always make the right decisions, but their clear goal every year is to win it all. And every year, they make moves they believe will give themselves a better shot at doing so. You simply can not say that about the Twins.

    Joe Mauer is not a naïve little boy any more. Family is important. But he already lives in Florida half the year and the life of a MLB ballplayer during the season doesn’t leave much time for family anyway. With Boston training in Fort Myers, I think they might just be one team he would consider waiving his no-trade deal for.

    So, IF the Red Sox call… IF Terry Ryan will listen… IF the Red Sox would take on the entire contract… and IF the Twins could also get a top prospect (or two?) in return… would Mauer agree to a trade?

    Let’s just say that if, like me, you are one who never wants to see Joe Mauer in anything but a Twins uniform, we should probably hope it doesn’t come down to that last factor.

    - JC

    [EDIT: CORRECTIONS made to originally incorrect statements concerning the timing of Mauer's contract. Thanks for pointing out the error, Winston Smith.]
    This article was originally published in blog: Thinking the Unthinkable: Trade Joe Mauer? started by Jim Crikket
    Comments 55 Comments
    1. ScottyB's Avatar
      ScottyB -
      I never did understand the thinking of no deferred money on Mauer's contract. It certainly would be helpful to have more money available for payroll in the present.

      Webster would probably fit into the rotation immediately for the Twins. It might be nice for the Twins to include a mid-level prospect (possibly an outfielder if Elsbury is traded) so we could get a couple more players such as catcher Blake Swihart (a top 10 catching prospect who would be blocked by Mauer), and maybe one of their middle infield prospects (they have a bunch) or pitcher Brandon Workman, who also might be ready soon at age 24.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by ScottyB View Post
      I never did understand the thinking of no deferred money on Mauer's contract. It certainly would be helpful to have more money available for payroll in the present.
      I believe the exact opposite. Mauer should be getting ~$30m right now with his contract tapering to ~$15m at the end of the deal. That way the Twins have the most flexibility to field a competitive team during his entire career, not just parts of it. When the Twins are getting the most production from him, they need less players to complement him and can afford to pay him a larger portion of the salary. The end of that contract is going to be an albatross to the team's financials. Deferred money only compounds the problem.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      He's not going to get traded, nor would he accept a trade.
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ScottyB View Post
      I never did understand the thinking of no deferred money on Mauer's contract. It certainly would be helpful to have more money available for payroll in the present.
      I believe the exact opposite. Mauer should be getting ~$30m right now with his contract tapering to ~$15m at the end of the deal. That way the Twins have the most flexibility to field a competitive team during his entire career, not just parts of it. When the Twins are getting the most production from him, they need less players to complement him and can afford to pay him a larger portion of the salary. The end of that contract is going to be an albatross to the team's financials. Deferred money only compounds the problem.
      Except that, currently Mauer's contract would eat up 23-25% of payroll (assuming a $90-100 million payroll), while by the last couple of years of the contract one would expect payrolls in general to have risen at a rate comparable to what they have over the past half decade, so Mauer's pay would, over time, account for a smaller percentage of the total nut. Of course, this assumes that at some point the Pohlads start giving Ryan more money every year to spend on players instead of less every year.

      I guess I see pros and cons to both front-loading and back-loading long term contracts. In Mauer's case, I'm fine with a level contract that overpays him a bit in the first year or two when Target Field was brand new and attendance was expected to be high, regardless of how good the team was. By the end of his contract, he probably will no longer be worthy of megastar salary, but then by 2018, I'm not sure $23 million will be still reflect the going rate for a megastar.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jim Crikket View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ScottyB View Post
      I never did understand the thinking of no deferred money on Mauer's contract. It certainly would be helpful to have more money available for payroll in the present.
      I believe the exact opposite. Mauer should be getting ~$30m right now with his contract tapering to ~$15m at the end of the deal. That way the Twins have the most flexibility to field a competitive team during his entire career, not just parts of it. When the Twins are getting the most production from him, they need less players to complement him and can afford to pay him a larger portion of the salary. The end of that contract is going to be an albatross to the team's financials. Deferred money only compounds the problem.
      Except that, currently Mauer's contract would eat up 23-25% of payroll (assuming a $90-100 million payroll), while by the last couple of years of the contract one would expect payrolls in general to have risen at a rate comparable to what they have over the past half decade, so Mauer's pay would, over time, account for a smaller percentage of the total nut. Of course, this assumes that at some point the Pohlads start giving Ryan more money every year to spend on players instead of less every year.

      I guess I see pros and cons to both front-loading and back-loading long term contracts. In Mauer's case, I'm fine with a level contract that overpays him a bit in the first year or two when Target Field was brand new and attendance was expected to be high, regardless of how good the team was. By the end of his contract, he probably will no longer be worthy of megastar salary, but then by 2018, I'm not sure $23 million will be still reflect the going rate for a megastar.
      There are negatives to each way of doing it but payrolls aren't going to jump that much in the 6-7 years it takes for Mauer to finish out his contract. We'll probably see a swing of $4-5m but that's still considerably less than the $7-8m in differential I'm talking about by front-loading the contract.

      With the inevitable decreasing attendance as the new stadium smell wears off, the Twins are going to have a hell of a time competing with a 35 year old Joe Mauer consuming $24m while producing a .750 OPS. When he's an .850-.900 OPS player at catcher, he plays close to the level of his $24m contract. When he's a .750 OPS player manning first base and DH, that $24m is going to hurt the team.
    1. Mr. Ed's Avatar
      Mr. Ed -
      I saw that the Boston paper again speculated the Sox should go after Mauer this off season. He'd put up some pretty nice numbers banging the ball off the Green Monster.
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      Brock, are you taking in to account the $35-40 million in additional revenue each team stands to receive from the new national TV rights deals signed with ESPN, Turner and FOX a couple of months ago? I think they kick in starting in 2014, if I recall correctly. If the Twins keep to their practice of spending half their revenues on payroll, that's an additional $17.5-20 million per year from that revenue source alone (and one could argue that, since they incur no additional operating costs to gain that additional revenue, there's no reason they shouldn't allocate more of it to salaries, but these are the Pohlads, after all, so we won't expect the impossible).

      If you're right about no more of an overall swing in payroll from now through 2018 than $5 million a year, there's something terribly wrong in Twinsville.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jim Crikket View Post
      Brock, are you taking in to account the $35-40 million in additional revenue each team stands to receive from the new national TV rights deals signed with ESPN, Turner and FOX a couple of months ago? I think they kick in starting in 2014, if I recall correctly. If the Twins keep to their practice of spending half their revenues on payroll, that's an additional $17.5-20 million per year from that revenue source alone (and one could argue that, since they incur no additional operating costs to gain that additional revenue, there's no reason they shouldn't allocate more of it to salaries, but these are the Pohlads, after all, so we won't expect the impossible).

      If you're right about no more of an overall swing in payroll from now through 2018 than $5 million a year, there's something terribly wrong in Twinsville.
      I was speaking about "megastar" player salaries, not overall payroll. I should have made that more clear.

      Anyway, I think this just depends on which side of the fence you fall... For me, I believe it's a more sound practice to pay a player relative to expected performance than it is to pay a flat rate.

      Either way, deferred money is the worst option possible. I can live with a flat salary but deferred money is a terrible idea no matter how you look at it. You're mortgaging the future for today and that's not a sound business practice.
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      He's not going to get traded, nor would he accept a trade.
      I've read that Mauer's agent asked for an "opt out" in the Twins contract during negotiations and the Twins refused. Seems to me that either Joe or his agent were considering the possibility that the Twins might become non-competitive during the course of the contract and that Mauer might, in that case, prefer to consider other options. Back to back seasons like the Twins have just endured might seem to be exactly the kind of scenario that they were concerned about.

      As I wrote, I don't expect a trade to even be considered by the Twins. That said, I wouldn't assume Mauer would necessarily refuse it if it did occur, especially If the Twins are out of contention by midseason again this year and the Red Sox are contending. If I were him, I'd certainly be open to that possibility and I can't imagine why he'd be any less receptive.
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jim Crikket View Post
      Brock, are you taking in to account the $35-40 million in additional revenue each team stands to receive from the new national TV rights deals signed with ESPN, Turner and FOX a couple of months ago? I think they kick in starting in 2014, if I recall correctly. If the Twins keep to their practice of spending half their revenues on payroll, that's an additional $17.5-20 million per year from that revenue source alone
      Of course, since every team is receiving the same amount, it doesn't give them one ounce of comparative advantage. All that money is likely to do is inflate contracts across the league.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jim Crikket View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      He's not going to get traded, nor would he accept a trade.
      I've read that Mauer's agent asked for an "opt out" in the Twins contract during negotiations and the Twins refused. Seems to me that either Joe or his agent were considering the possibility that the Twins might become non-competitive during the course of the contract and that Mauer might, in that case, prefer to consider other options. Back to back seasons like the Twins have just endured might seem to be exactly the kind of scenario that they were concerned about.

      As I wrote, I don't expect a trade to even be considered by the Twins. That said, I wouldn't assume Mauer would necessarily refuse it if it did occur, especially If the Twins are out of contention by midseason again this year and the Red Sox are contending. If I were him, I'd certainly be open to that possibility and I can't imagine why he'd be any less receptive.
      The only reason a player asks for an opt out (see: CC, and ARod) is that they then have the leverage to make even more money down the road by holding the team hostage IF they prove to be worth the money, it has nothing to do with them thinking the team may not be competitive.
    1. NoCryingInBaseball's Avatar
      NoCryingInBaseball -
      The biggest problem is that the Twins gave up Wilson Ramos to Washington for reliever Matt Capps in 2010. Don’t see Drew Butera as a legitimate replacement as catcher and Chris Herrmann probably isn't the guy either.
    1. savvyspy's Avatar
      savvyspy -
      Any team that wouldn't entertain moving Mauer after back to back 90+ loss seasons is crazy. Mauer's contract is only justifiable if you are getting elite offense (sorry 75 RBIs from the #3 hole isn't elite), defense (not even close), or at least superior performance in one of these catagories teamed with intangible benefits (highly questionable).

      Breaking down the offensive performance, Mauer really isn't significantly more productive than Austin Jackson or David Murphy. He walks more so his OBS is higher but he's really not that productive otherwise and he's batting in the heart of the order.

      Defensively Mauer is VERY versitile but isn't an elite catcher. He's valuble because, when healthy, he can play C, 1B, OF, & DH. This alone makes him an above average defensive option but not elite.


      The intangibles are interesting. He obviously is a local guy with a huge fan base (even though it skews 16-34 and female) but he isn't a beloved figure like Puckett was nor would he be considered a clubhouse leader at all. The other thing that's hard to prove given the various factors is he doesn't seem to make the team better. He's kind of like Kevin Love in that way. He's a great player but the team isn't more successful when he plays versus when he doesn't.

      Overall, I by no means think Mauer is horrible or shouldn't be the highest paid player on the team but, I think at $23 million per season you should be getting elite production somewhere and the Twins aren't.

      I think they need to be open to moving just about anyone on the roster and Mauer is no exception.
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      Mauer is fine, but if the Twins want to get their money's worth they need to move him to #2 in the lineup. Mauer himself needs to get his defense fixed. I'd really like for him to get back to the best catcher in baseball as the title currently belongs to Posey.
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      Should Twins consider trading Mauer?? Of course...but must receive a top level pitching prospect, and more (maybe a replacement catcher that would be better than Butera).

      Will the Twins consider trading Mauer??? I doubt it.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by savvyspy View Post
      Any team that wouldn't entertain moving Mauer after back to back 90+ loss seasons is crazy. Mauer's contract is only justifiable if you are getting elite offense (sorry 75 RBIs from the #3 hole isn't elite), defense (not even close), or at least superior performance in one of these catagories teamed with intangible benefits (highly questionable).

      Breaking down the offensive performance, Mauer really isn't significantly more productive than Austin Jackson or David Murphy. He walks more so his OBS is higher but he's really not that productive otherwise and he's batting in the heart of the order.

      Defensively Mauer is VERY versitile but isn't an elite catcher. He's valuble because, when healthy, he can play C, 1B, OF, & DH. This alone makes him an above average defensive option but not elite.


      The intangibles are interesting. He obviously is a local guy with a huge fan base (even though it skews 16-34 and female) but he isn't a beloved figure like Puckett was nor would he be considered a clubhouse leader at all. The other thing that's hard to prove given the various factors is he doesn't seem to make the team better. He's kind of like Kevin Love in that way. He's a great player but the team isn't more successful when he plays versus when he doesn't.

      Overall, I by no means think Mauer is horrible or shouldn't be the highest paid player on the team but, I think at $23 million per season you should be getting elite production somewhere and the Twins aren't.

      I think they need to be open to moving just about anyone on the roster and Mauer is no exception.
      I like the part where you tried to use RBI's to explain how Mauer was an "elite" offensive player or whatever you were trying to say.
      I also liked the part where you compared him to David Murphy.

    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by savvyspy View Post
      Any team that wouldn't entertain moving Mauer after back to back 90+ loss seasons is crazy. Mauer's contract is only justifiable if you are getting elite offense (sorry 75 RBIs from the #3 hole isn't elite), defense (not even close), or at least superior performance in one of these catagories teamed with intangible benefits (highly questionable).

      Breaking down the offensive performance, Mauer really isn't significantly more productive than Austin Jackson or David Murphy. He walks more so his OBS is higher but he's really not that productive otherwise and he's batting in the heart of the order.
      It's really, really hard to be "not that productive otherwise" when Joe Mauer is the best player in baseball at avoiding getting out (highest OBP).

      Remember, kids... The most important thing in baseball is not getting out. Everything else is secondary.

      And for the love of God, never quote RBI as an indication of performance. It's worse than useless.
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
      Of course, since every team is receiving the same amount, it doesn't give them one ounce of comparative advantage. All that money is likely to do is inflate contracts across the league.
      I agree, Nick. However, since Mauer's contract calls for a level salary throughout the remaining years, none of the increased revenue will go toward increases in Mauer's own salary so his share, as a percentage of total payroll, should drop. The point I was attempting (perhaps poorly) to make is that, for that reason, I don't see his contract likely being as big of a weight for the Twins to carry in the later years as would be the case without the TV revenue boost.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      It's really, really hard to be "not that productive otherwise" when Joe Mauer is the best player in baseball at avoiding getting out (highest OBP).

      Remember, kids... The most important thing in baseball is not getting out. Everything else is secondary.

      And for the love of God, never quote RBI as an indication of performance. It's worse than useless.
      Well, if not getting out (OBP) is the best measure of offensive performance, then Joe Mauer must be the best offensive player in the league.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      It's really, really hard to be "not that productive otherwise" when Joe Mauer is the best player in baseball at avoiding getting out (highest OBP).

      Remember, kids... The most important thing in baseball is not getting out. Everything else is secondary.

      And for the love of God, never quote RBI as an indication of performance. It's worse than useless.
      Well, if not getting out (OBP) is the best measure of offensive performance, then Joe Mauer must be the best offensive player in the league.
      No, because there are other players that make outs at nearly the same percentage while also slugging at a much higher rate.

      The poster I replied to used RBI and compared Joe Mauer to Austin Jackson. Anything more than a cursory glance at each player shows just how ridiculous that comparison is and that Mauer is obviously the superior player.
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