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The Future of Joe Mauer

According to Buster Olney of ESPNcom, there is a chance that Joe Mauer could leave the Twins following the 2010 season--when he is scheduled to be a free agent.

Here is a snapshot of what Olney said.

Mauer will make $12.5 million next season and he will, of course, be in line for a huge raise; if he wanted to chase the biggest offer, he could do that, and the Twins probably would be outbid. But the Twins will probably be aggressive in trying to keep him, by their standards, and in the end, it's possible that Mauer will decide -- as Ripken and Puckett did -- that he preferred to stay with the team that drafted and developed him.

This is basically every Twins fans worst nightmare. Having to watch the team develop another superstar only to watch him leave for the big bucks (i.e. Johan Santana).

The Twins, who are set to open their new stadium next year desperately, need to do everything they can to keep Mauer and Morneau together. Together they are one of the most feared tandems in the league, and more importantly they are the face of the Twins franchise.

Hopefully Mauer, who unlike Santana has local roots in Minnesota, will re-sign with the Twins. The organization certainly deserves to enjoy the fruits of their own labor-at least once.

When Mauer is due for free agency he will be 27 years old, which will put him right in the prime of his career.

He is without question the best hitting catcher in the game, and rest assured the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Angels and probably anybody else who could afford him, will covet his services.

2009 - Joe Mauer 52 193 42 76 12 1 14 43 29 26 1 1 .394 .467 .684