Joe Mauer’s return to catch one pitch behind the plate in the Twins’ regular-season finale last September sure made it look as if his playing career was finished. But Mauer has yet to officially inform the Twins have his plans. That should change soon.
Derek Falvey, the Twins’ chief baseball officer, told Dan Hayes of the Athletic that he anticipates “it won’t be too, too long,” before Mauer informs the club of whether he wants to return for 2019 or will retire after 15 big-league seasons with his hometown team. The Athletic reported the Twins and Mauer have discussed what the general parameters of a potential deal might look like if he does continue.
“We’ve talked a little bit about (a contract) really from the beginning,” Falvey said from the general manager meetings in Carlsbad, Calif. “Joe’s somebody who we know he is thinking through all of those aspects of it. I don’t think we’re going to be in a place where there’s any uncertainty around what that looks like.”
Mauer’s eight-year, $184 million contract expired after last season so he’s a free agent, but the catcher-turned-first baseman isn’t going anywhere. He will either tell the Twins he wants to return — the club has made it clear this is Mauer’s call — or he will retire.
Mauer, who will turn 36 in April, hit .282/.351/.379 with six home runs and 48 runs batted in in 127 games last season.