Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.

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Joe signs: Is that good or bad?

Posted by: Jim Souhan under Twins fans, Twins management, Twins transactions Updated: March 21, 2010 - 7:29 PM

I'll be on Mark Rosen's show late tonight to talk about the Mauer signing and assorted other sports topics. I'm also filling in for Reusse Monday on am-1500 from noon to 4. Also doing my usual morning updates at 7:45 a.m. on am-1500 and 7:15 on WJON in St. Cloud.

The numbers on the Mauer deal - 8 years at $23 milion a year - don't surprise me. I was told last week that the Twins were offering $21 million a year and that the Mauer camp wasn't making any real offers. I had heard the Mauer camp was looking for $25 million, so $23 million a year makes a lot of sense.

The blanket no-trade clause doesn't seem like a big deal now, but it could be a major factor in how Joe's career plays out if he ever decides he wants to leave, or if the Twins ever decide they need to trade him. That becomes a huge bargaining chip. If the Twins went into a downcycle and didn't think it wise to spend this much money on one player, it will give Mauer the power to either turn down trades or route himself to the team of his choice.

My quick take: This is a great deal for Mauer, a great deal for Twins fans who are invested in the inaugural season of Target Field, and it's a great deal for the 2010 Twins team.

What is less certain is that at the end of this deal we'll all be happy with it. There haven't been many contracts of this magnitude that have worked out in the long run.

What the Twins need to make this a good deal is excellent health and power production from Mauer. In other words, his last five months of last year have to be the model for what he will produce over the life of this contract, or he will be one of the most overpaid players in the history of baseball.

What will be most interesting is how the Twins structure their payroll next season. Will Mauer's contract be a drag on their spending, or will they boost the payroll to allow for one immense salary?

I'll check in tomorrow.

You can follow me on Twitter at Souhanstrib.

 

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