The Minnesota have lots of issues that need fixing and in spite of their horrendous pitching the very first problem they need to address is Joe Mauer. I know Mauer is making $23 million a year but money is not the issue here. The problem here is that he is playing first base and hitting in one of the top three spots in the batting order while hitting .258 with 26 RBI in 337 plate appearances. Catcher Kurt Suzuki who hits in the bottom of the order is hitting .278 with 25 RBI in just 194 PA’s. I am not trying to show how good Suzuki is, I am trying to show how bad Mauer really is.
In spite of the money that Mauer makes and how poorly he hits, the most biggest problem with Mauer is that he is blocking lots of other moves that can make this team better. I know that Mauer has a no-trade clause and he wants to be a Twin for life but the time has come for Joe to move on. I like Mauer as a person but the reality is that the best thing for Joe and the Minnesota Twins is for him to say good-bye to the Land of 10,000 Lakes and join a contender. Joe deserves to be on a playoff contender as he plays his 13th season in the majors and his leaving would start a new era in Twins baseball. Mauer has been the face of the franchise for years but he has never been the Twins leader. To me it is ironic that an athlete that was good enough to be a catcher, a quarterback, and a point guard doesn’t have leadership skills. Mauer is a follower and not a leader but it is difficult for any other Twins player to step up and assume the leadership role as long as Mauer dons a Twins uniform.
GM Terry Ryan and the rest of the organization have to bite the bullet on this one and move Mauer to a team that works for him and probably receive very little in return unless they are willing to swallow a huge chunk of Mauer’s salary. There is just no way I can see Mauer starting for this team the next two plus years without hindering its progress. The team is out the money anyway so why not move Joe to a contender and free up a roster spot and make it a win/win for Mauer, the Twins and most of all, the fans.
It is hard to move forward when you have an anchor that keeps you in that same old spot. Lots of things in our life are not fun to do but these tasks still need to be done, life isn’t always a bowl of cherries. Step up Mr. Ryan and let’s get this deal done.