" ..... Tests on Nathan's right throwing elbow have revealed a significant tear in the ulnar collateral ligament, an injury that could require season-ending Tommy John surgery. Nathan's 246 saves over six seasons are the most in the majors during that span. ....."
Well it's certainly bad news for the Twins and that must make it good news for the Sux. But how could it be good news for the Cubs?
Nathan's injury undoubtedly is a major blow to the Twinks. Joe Mauer is coming up for a major payday. If Jim Hendry has any brains at all he covets Joe Mauer either as a catcher or for 1B. If the Twinks now find themselves off to a poor start (and season) and negotiations with Mauer proceed poorly I hope Hendry and the Cubs are right there at their doorstep with a fine trade offer for Mauer's services. I think they might be in a better position to deal with Minnesota than most other teams because they have G. Soto to build their offer around. The Twinks will need a solid replacement for Mauer and Soto could be an appealing choice.
The Cubs need to start working on a substantial fresh high-level talent infusion and Mauer is a good place to start. He's worth the money and effort. He's the kind of guy you build an offense around. If the Cubs could get Mauer without giving up Soto? - wow! Not likely. But this unfortunate injury to Nathan just might ultimately make Mauer available.
" ..... "Obviously this wasn't the news I wanted to hear," Nathan said. "It definitely came as a bit of a surprise, but at the same time I've got to be patient right now and take this a step at a time. We'll see how it feels in a week or two."
" ..... Losing Nathan for any amount of time would be a big blow to the Twins, who shored up their lineup and are eager to celebrate the opening of their new ballpark, Target Field, with another trip to the playoffs ...... "
"That's going to be a huge drop for them," Chicago White Sox
infielder Omar Vizquel
said at Scottsdale Stadium in Arizona. "It's not going to be easy to replace a guy like him. He pretty much guarantees a save every time." ..... "
Mauer's contract history:
Joe Mauer c
4 years/$33M (2007-10)
- 4 years/$33M (2007-10)
- signed extension with Minnesota 2/07 (avoided arbitration, $4.5M-$3.3M)
- 07:$3.75M, 08:$6.25M, 09:$10.5M, 10:$12.5M
- award bonuses: $0.1M for WS MVP, $0.1M for MVP ($75,000 for 2nd, $50,000 for 3rd), $50,000 for LCS MVP, $25,000 each for Gold Glove, All Star selection
- limited no-trade clause (may block deals to 3 clubs each year)
- 1 year/$0.4M (2006)
- re-signed by Minnesota 3/06
- 1 year/$0.325M (2005)
- re-signed by Minnesota 3/05
- drafted by Minnesota 2001 (1-1)
- $5.15M signing bonus (paid over 5 years)
- agent: Ron Shapiro
- ML service: 6.000
His rather impressive career stats:
Mauer, at age 26, is just entering his prime and has already lead the AL in hitting 3 - count 'em - that's 3
times. He's likely off to a HOF career. Go Cubs!