So, the Twins finally got done the Joe Mauer deal. It is going for 8 years and 184 million. I think that that is more than reasonable for him actually. They DID spend a ton of money on him, but he is the hometown kid and the PR backlash would have been HUGE if they had let him go (to say nothing if they had let him go to Boston or New York). This was a great move by them all in all.
So, the question remains though, how will he last through this contract? How long will he catch? Will he make up the value on it? Again, pointing alone to the PR nightmare they would have had if he had left, it almost seems like they have already made their money back. But, looking at it in baseball terms, the best I can come up with is... eh.... maybe? I hope so for their sake. His closest comparables through age 26 are Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra. Dickey was excellent through his age 32 season. Given today's advanced medical abilities and the DH (ie less stress on the body), I think we could say he would have added on a couple years to that age 32. That bodes well all in all for Mauer. Next comp is Yogi. Yogi was solid through his age 36 season, but he wasn't all that great. Again, it could be worse that Berra. Two hall of famers to start off with. Next comparable? Uh-oh, Jason Kendall. Kendall basically tanked after his age 26 season and has been mediocre to poor since then. Bad news there. Next up is Mickey Cochrane. Another HOF'r and nice career. Like Dickey, he went through age 32.
So, in my completely unscientific look at this through statistical comparison done by someone else.... yeah, it doesn't look too bad. Morneau is signed through 2013 to play first, so Mauer has to stay behind the plate until the end of his age 30 season at least. That doesn't look like it should be too much of an issue. He could move to 1B at that time. And before then, he can DH some as well as catch. I think that he will age well with this contract, injuries notwithstanding. Of course, you can't predict those. But, as I said, I think the Twins have already won on this deal.