As word broke out about the new contract signed by Joe Mauer, I'm sure many people around these parts were disappointed. Obviously, Mauer had been a long term target of many Red Sox fans as far back as a few years ago. They saw the upcoming hole at the position as a perfect convergence of opportunity with need. Yet I always looked upon the signing with some trepidation and now that he has resigned with the Twins, I find myself feeling quite positively about the deal.
For starters, the contract needed to sign Mauer would be mammoth, larger even than the record deal given him by the Twins. The fact that he would be leaving his home state and the inevitable bidding war that would ensue would likely drive the price and years into unheard of levels. While Mauer is a spectacular player, it would be extremely difficult for him to live up to this contract, especially for a player who is likely to have to move to first base in a few years. This money could likely be better spent on more efficient uses, such as international free agents, overslot draft bonuses, and more mid-level free agents. And with a minor league system that has multiple intriguing options for filling the Catcher position, the Red Sox will not be suffering for missing out on Mauer.
Additionally, Mauer's resigning is a major positive for Twins and the state of Minnesota. Mauer is easily the most famous and popular person in the state. Losing him, after losing a string of players like Torii Hunter and Johan Santana would further prove to the world that routing for lower payroll teams is just a fool's errand. By locking up Mauer for what is surely his career, it gives hope to other teams that their favorite players are not destined to leave. Sometimes it is nice to see a player where he is meant to be, not where he is paid the highest.
So how do the rest of you feel?