I don't think they'll trade him, but the club needs lots of pitchers and players to turn around two dismal seasons.
Joe Mauer has a no-trade clause in his contract, which has six years left at $23 million per season, so the Twins can't trade the great catcher without his permission.
Well, the Twins have a 115-176 record the past two seasons going into Wednesday's game, so one wonders if Mauer is sick of playing with a loser and would accept a trade maybe to one of the bigger franchises where he could make even more money with more endorsements.
On Tuesday Ken Rosenthal, who works for Fox Sports, put out a story reporting that the Twins placed Mauer on revocable waivers. I believe Rosenthal, one of the most reliable Internet reporters, would not have put this report on the Web unless he got the information first-hand from an owner or general manager.
However, Twins owner Jim Pohlad called the report "an exaggeration" and indicated there was nothing to the report.
Twins General Manager Terry Ryan added: "That's a rumor. We're not allowed to talk about that or the process at all. It's going to be out there. It's the 'Rite of August.' It always happens and it will happen a year from now."
There is no doubt in my mind that the Twins brain trust was sitting around and the subject came up of seeing what interest teams would have in acquiring Mauer despite his big contract, and simply decided to place him on waivers that they could easily recall.Need to rebuild
The Twins are a horrible baseball team, and they will continue to lose unless they can come up with a couple of outstanding starting pitchers and extend the bench so manager Ron Gardenhire, who definitely will be back next year, has some depth on his roster, which he doesn't have now.
Furthermore, going into Wednesday's game with Seattle, the Twins are averaging 3.1 runs during a period when their record is 3-16. Like Joe Christensen pointed out in Wednesday's Star Tribune, this is remindful of the start of the season when the club was 10-26 in mid-May and absolutely nothing like the month of July, when the Twins led the American League in runs scored.
As for Mauer's attitude toward a trade, he wasn't happy with the criticism he took a year ago from the fans and the media, so maybe he might be in favor of playing elsewhere. On the other hand, there are a lot of family advantages for him playing here.
Both the Yankees and the Red Sox are in need of a catcher who can get on base, but the Red Sox have announced they don't have any interest in Mauer.
So the big question is that with no assurance that the Twins will be much improved next year, what would be the attitude of the Twins brass if some club threw a bundle of pitchers and other players who can play now at them in exchange for Mauer?
The catching behind Mauer is in pretty good shape with Ryan Doumit, who just signed a two-year contract extension, as the fourth-leading hitter on the team at .283 with 14 home runs and 60 RBI, and behind Doumit is Drew Butera, who doesn't hit much but is a great defensive catcher.
Personally I hope they don't trade Mauer, and I don't believe they will, but with the club struggling and former mainstays such as Joe Nathan leaving the Twins to pitch for a winner, Mauer might be frustrated by the team's direction and what appears to be a very tough job of turning the tide in the near future.Gray the key
For the Gophers to win any football games this year, including against UNLV tonight, quarterback MarQueis Gray will have to have an outstanding performance, something coach Jerry Kill is counting on.
"MarQueis has done well. I think he's improved since the Illinois game [last season]," Kill said. "I think he's continued to move forward in his game and I know he feels a lot better going into this opener than he did a year ago at this time going to go play USC.
"He has some experience under his belt, he's executed the offense very well over the last three weeks and hasn't turned the ball over very much."
Kill said the Gophers will only be as good on offense as Gray is.
"I don't think there's any question about that," Kill said. "That doesn't mean he has to run the ball all the time, either, he has to throw the ball, has to be accurate, we have some guys who can catch it, and we have some guys that can run the ball as well."
Kill said Gray, going into his senior season, reminds him of his former quarterback at Northern Illinois, Chandler Harnish, who is now with the Colts.
"[Gray's] transition is very similar to what Chandler Harnish's was from his sophomore to his junior year. Chandler had a very good junior year [compared] to what he had as a sophomore, he was solid and then became very good as a junior.
"I think MarQueis is very similar to that situation, where he has gained knowledge, understands what he's doing. He's been at a huge disadvantage because he was at wide receiver for the first two years of his career. He has had a lot to catch up with but we've been pleased with him and more concerned about getting everybody else around him to play to the expectations that they need to."Jttings
• The word is that Wild ownership is not happy the team has not been represented by even one player at the union negotiations being held in New York, while most every other club has had players attend.
• Look for Brendan Beal, the Gophers transfer from Florida who has missed two seasons because of injuries and is now healthy, to have a big game defensively against UNLV. Beal, the former Parade All-America, recently has enjoyed some great practices.
• Former Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice played in his first game of the preseason for Seattle last Friday against Kansas City. The Seahawks wanted to ease Rice back into action after the wideout had two shoulder surgeries over the offseason. Rice appeared in nine games last season for Seattle, grabbing 32 receptions for 484 yards with two touchdowns.
• Miguel Sano, who is ranked as the top prospect in the Twins farm system, is hitting .260 with 28 doubles, 27 home runs and 98 RBI for Class A Beloit, but in the field he has made 42 errors at third base.
Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. • email@example.com
|San Antonio||8:00 PM|
|Buffalo||2||2nd Prd 13:40|
|Detroit||2||2nd Prd 13:58|
|New Jersey||4:00 PM|
|NY Rangers||7:00 PM|
|St. Louis||9:00 PM|
|Vermont||72||2nd Half 1:14|
|Illinois State||61||1st OT 5:00|
|Fla Gulf Coast||67||FINAL|
|Mount St Marys||74|
|William & Mary||66|
|Campbell||65||2nd Half 0:02|
|Sarah Lawrence||54||2nd Half 1:30|
|Middle Tennessee||25||2nd Half 20:00|
|Southern Utah||41||2nd Half 16:40|
|Utah Valley U||14||2nd Half|
|ULM||19||1st Half 2:38|
|Bowling Green||23||1st Half 4:34|
|Long Island||14||1st Half 11:22|
|West Virginia||4||1st Half 15:41|
|Holy Cross||0||1st Half 17:06|
|MD-Eastern Shore||3:00 PM|
|Wofford||2||1st Half 18:34|
|Montana State||0||1st Half 19:30|
|Hofstra||4||1st Half 16:06|
|Iowa State||8||1st Half 15:53|
|Arkansas||0||1st Half 20:00|
|Missouri State||0||1st Half 18:28|
|Fordham||0||1st Half 20:00|
|Nicholls||9||1st Half 15:52|
|East Tenn St||9||1st Half 15:30|
|Coppin State||3:00 PM|
|San Diego||7||1st Half 15:02|
|Gardner-Webb||6||1st Half 16:49|
|St Francis-PA||10||1st Half 14:23|
|Duquesne||7||1st Half 15:25|
|Creighton||9||1st Half 15:41|
|Oklahoma State||6||1st Half 15:24|
|Alabama||0||1st Half 17:29|
|Virginia Tech||9||1st Half 14:44|
|St Francis-NY||3:00 PM|
|Drake||0||1st Half 20:00|
|High Point||3:30 PM|
|Central Conn St||3:30 PM|
|Eastern Mich||3:30 PM|
|SE Louisiana||4:00 PM|
|South Dakota St||4:00 PM|
|Georgia State||4:15 PM|
|Old Dominion||4:30 PM|
|Arkansas State||4:30 PM|
|Texas Southern||5:00 PM|
|Tennessee St||5:00 PM|
|Jacksonville St||5:00 PM|
|San Jose St||5:00 PM|
|Florida A&M||5:00 PM|
|Loyola Marymount||5:00 PM|
|Miss State||5:00 PM|
|Savannah State||5:00 PM|
|Miss Valley St||5:30 PM|
|Alcorn State||5:30 PM|
|Prairie View||6:00 PM|
|George Washington||6:00 PM|
|Tenn Tech||6:00 PM|
|Stony Brook||6:00 PM|
|Western Ill||6:00 PM|
|Incarnate Word||6:00 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton||6:00 PM|
|Long Beach State|
|TX-San Antonio||6:00 PM|
|Fla Atlantic||6:00 PM|
|George Mason||6:00 PM|
|Austin Peay||6:00 PM|
|SE Missouri St|
|Murray State||6:00 PM|
|Ball State||6:00 PM|
|USC Upstate||6:00 PM|
|Grand Canyon||6:05 PM|
|Abilene Christian||6:15 PM|
|Coll of Charleston|
|Central Mich||7:00 PM|
|Boise State||7:00 PM|
|San Diego St|
|St Marys-CA||7:00 PM|
|Texas-El Paso||7:00 PM|
|Sam Houston St||7:00 PM|
|New Mexico St||7:00 PM|
|Stephen F Austin||7:00 PM|
|Ga Southern||7:15 PM|
|Ark-Little Rock||7:15 PM|
|Grambling St||7:30 PM|
|Northern Ariz||8:00 PM|
|UC Davis||0||1st Half|
|New Mexico||9:00 PM|
|Idaho State||9:00 PM|
|Sacramento St||9:05 PM|
|UC Riverside||9:30 PM|
|UC Irvine||10:59 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara|
|Sam Houston St||52||FINAL|
|Central Conn St||77||FINAL|
|East Tenn St||42||FINAL|
|Western Ill||63||2nd Half 5:13|
|Cleveland State||32||2nd Half 17:49|
|Lafayette||30||2nd Half 16:16|
|Arkansas State||30||2nd Half 17:28|
|Georgia State||27||2nd Half 19:23|
|IUPUI||21||2nd Half 17:00|
|South Dakota St||49|
|Tennessee St||51||2nd Half 14:07|
|Eastern Illinois||35||2nd Half 13:15|
|Jacksonville St||48||2nd Half 10:48|
|Kansas State||21||2nd Half 16:04|
|Cincinnati||26||2nd Half 13:19|
|SE Louisiana||33||2nd Half 17:43|
|Denver||23||2nd Half 14:15|
|Tulane||34||2nd Half 14:20|
|IUPU-Ft Wayne||35||2nd Half 16:39|
|Air Force||7||1st Half 14:46|
|San Diego State||10||1st Half 14:05|
|Fresno State||7||1st Half 13:25|
|Florida A&M||7||1st Half 13:09|
|Gonzaga||12||1st Half 16:06|
|South Florida||18||1st Half 12:57|
|UCLA||0||1st Half 15:09|
|(3) Baylor||6||1st Half 15:50|
|Miss Valley St||3||1st Half 14:25|
|Tenn Tech||3||1st Half 16:30|
|UMKC||0||1st Half 17:44|
|Seattle||9||1st Half 15:12|
|Texas Southern||9||1st Half 15:33|
|Santa Clara||4||1st Half 16:20|
|UNLV||3||1st Half 16:19|
|Savannah State||3:00 PM|
|Alcorn State||3:00 PM|
|Bucknell||0||1st Half 18:50|
|Eastern Washington||3:00 PM|
|Idaho||9||1st Half 15:25|
|Weber State||4||1st Half 15:50|
|Radford||4||1st Half 15:52|
|Green Bay||3:30 PM|
|Austin Peay||3:30 PM|
|SE Missouri St|
|Mount St Marys|
|San Jose St|
|Stephen F Austin||4:00 PM|
|Incarnate Word||4:00 PM|
|Abilene Christian||4:00 PM|
|San Francisco||4:00 PM|
|Prairie View||4:00 PM|
|Chicago State||4:00 PM|
|Utah Valley U|
|Murray State||4:00 PM|
|Cal Poly||4:00 PM|
|Portland State||4:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara||4:00 PM|
|Western Ky||5:00 PM|
|Georgia Southern||5:00 PM|
|Ark-Little Rock||5:00 PM|
|(24) California||5:00 PM|
|(7) Oregon State|
|(21) Fla Gulf Coast|
|Long Beach St||6:00 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton|
|Oklahoma St||7:00 PM|
|TX-Pan American||8:00 PM|
|New Mexico St|
|North Dakota||8:00 PM|
|Northern Colorado||9:00 PM|
Poll: Which Twins player are you most interested in during spring training?