Good day, bad day for TwinsMinnesota Sports
- The Minnesota Twins signed a long-term contract for all-start catcher Joe Mauer. However, they also had to deal with the news that relief pitcher Joe Nathan will be done for the season as he has reconstructive surgery on his elbow.
FT. MEYER'S, Fla. - The Minnesota Twins signed a long-term contract for all-start catcher Joe Mauer. However, they also had to deal with the news that relief pitcher Joe Nathan will be done for the season as he has reconstructive surgery on his elbow.
The deal was announced yesterday, just over two weeks before the Twins play their first regular season game, the contract extension given to Joe Mauer that'll pay the reigning Most Valuable Player $184-million dollars over eight seasons. Mauer's current deal expires after the coming season ends, and he would have been the most coveted free agent in the game had he not signed the extension. Mauer is a three-time American League batting champion, has won two gold gloves as the league's top defensive catcher, and has played in three All-Star Games. The Saint Paul native was a three-sport standout at Cretin-Derham Hall High School, and was the top overall pick in the 2001 baseball amateur draft. In yesterday's 12-3 Grapefruit League win over Tampa Bay, Mauer had two hits and now has a .471 spring batting average.
But, as expected, Twins closer Joe Nathan is going to have reconstructive surgery on his right elbow, and he'll miss the entire 2010 season. Twins general manager Bill Smith says they're searching for a replacement for Nathan, suggesting that the team may consider a trade to fill the role. Among the possible in-house candidates is Francisco Liriano, although Twins manager Ron Gardenhire says they're getting the lefthander ready to begin the season in the starting rotation. Liriano has 16 strikeouts and one walk in ten innings of work in Grapefruit League games. Nathan was hurt March 6th and tried to play catch yesterday morning in Fort Myers, but the pain was too much to overcome. Nathan says he'll be ready by the 2011 season opener.