Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mauer in Yankee pinstripes? Bad for baseball

Heading into spring training, it looked like catcher/MVP Joe Mauer was closing in on a nice, new long-term contract with the Minnesota Twins. Now with negotiations seemingly stalled, talk of a possible trade is starting to emerge, with the New York Yankees right in the middle of the speculation. Getting Mauer would be great for the Yanks, but bad for baseball.

As much as I would love to have Mauer, I have long advocated that he and other young superstars in the game stay with their ballclubs. I'm a big believer in parity in the game and the other teams need to retain their talented youngsters to stay competitive. Plus, I'm getting sick of this whole notion that the Yanks are constantly buying world championships, which conveniently ignores the fact that the Bombers hadn't won a World Series since 2000 before last year and often lost in embarrassing fashion. The Twins are opening their new stadium and there's no reason they can't afford to keep their best player, unless that decision to go without a roof in Minnesota comes back to bite them in the ass.

There's no question Mauer would be a great fit with the Yankees. He would instantly bring youth and health to a position currently held by one of the oldest players on the team, 38-year-old Jorge Posada. He would help Brian Cashman further his youth movement, which started in earnest during the 2008-09 offseason with the signings of Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia. And he would be a force in the middle of that lineup for the next decade, giving Tex and Alex Rodriguez proper protection.

If Mauer does become available, then the Yanks should definitely do anything they can to get him, including offering their stud catching prospect Jesus Montero in return. But I hope it doesn't come to that.

Thanks to Tod Baker via Wikipedia for the photo.

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