Minnesota Twins Tickets – Twins Sign Mauer to Huge Extension

December 11, 2010

The Minnesota Twins have taken care of priority number one for their organization: locking up hometown hero Joe Mauer.  The team signed the catcher to an eight-year, 4 million extension that will keep the reigning American League MVP in his hometown for the majority of the next decade.

Mauer is coming off his best season as a pro, one in which he hit .365 with 28 home runs and 96 RBI, which was good enough to earn the St. Paul native his first MVP award and his third batting title.  At just 26 years of age, Mauer is one of the best players in the game and locking him up was an essential move for the Twins organization.  Not only is Mauer the team’s best player, but he’s also the biggest draw for <a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’]);” href=”http://www.stubhub.com/minnesota-twins-tickets/”>Minnesota Twins tickets</a>.

The deal includes a full no-trade clause, so Mauer will be a Twin as long as he wants to be.  Minnesota drafted the backstop out of high school with the first overall pick in the 2001 amateur draft, passing on heralded pitcher Mark Prior to do so.  Mauer has been nothing short of great throughout his relatively short career, notching a .327 career batting average to date.  Heading into the 2010 season, the Twins look like a solid bet to repeat as A.L. Central champs, especially with Mauer’s status solidified.

Mauer and first baseman Justin Morneau form the offensive core of this ball club.  Minnesota’s present-day version of the M&M boys both have an A.L. MVP to their name and are probably the two most important players to the franchise.  Morneau is still an underrated player and, up until last season, so was Mauer.  Mauer’s influx of power in 2009 elevated him to superstar status, as his 28 dingers were 15 more than his previous career-best for a single season.

The Minnesota lineup is filled with underrated players.  Right fielder Michael Cuddyer is coming off a 2009 season in which he smashed 32 home runs and drove in 94 runs.  Left fielder Jason Kubel managed to knock 28 out of the park last season while hitting .301 and driving in 103 runs.  Nobody talks about either of these guys, but they’d be big names if they were putting up those kinds of numbers on the New York Yankees or Los Angeles Dodgers.

While the Minnesota lineup is more than solid, their pitching staff is a bit shakier.  Closer Joe Nathan, one of the best ninth inning men in the majors, will miss the 2010 season with an elbow injury.  Nathan’s injury puts more pressure on a so-so bullpen and a shaky starting rotation.  Scott Baker is the likely opening day starter for the Twins and the team hopes that he can get into a groove quickly in 2010.  Baker got off to a rough start in 2009 but finished strong, winning nine of his final 11 decisions.

The club will also need Kevin Slowey to step up his game.  The 25-year-old right-hander showed a lot of promise in 2008, but failed to make significant strides last season.  He’s got the ability to develop into a reliable starter, and the Twins are hoping he takes the necessary steps in 2010.  Carl Pavano got off to a bad start in 2009, but settled down as the season went on.  After a full year of staying healthy, the team hopes he can step onto the mound in 2010 with confidence.

The wild card of the rotation undoubtedly lies with hurler Francisco Liriano.  The 26-year-old left-hander was the best pitcher in baseball in 2006 before going down with a serious elbow injury.  He missed all of 2007 and has had trouble putting together any kind of a consistent stretch since returning to the majors.  Word is that he’s looking as good as he has since his injury, but only time will tell whether he’s ready to regain his elite status.

The Twins won’t have an easy time outdoing the Detroit Tigers and the rest of the American League Central this season, but I’d consider them the favorite in the division.  Cementing Mauer as a Twin for a long time adds stability to the franchise and Mauer will be able to enter the 2010 season with a clear head.  This team has the potential to do some big things this season, but is certainly not without its question marks.



This article was written by Morgan C. Dunn, sponsored by <a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’]);” href=”http://www.stubhub.com/”>StubHub</a>. For all the best sports tickets like <a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’]);” href=”http://www.stubhub.com/minnesota-twins-tickets/”>Minnesota Twins tickets</a>, concert tickets, theatre tickets or special events tickets, the best place to look is StubHub.com.


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