2011 Off Season Free Agents

by on February 28, 2011   8 Comments

Money has a funny way of inspiring people to perform even better than expected. This is true in several career paths and certainly doesn’t exclude baseball. In baseball, the money up for grabs is anywhere from the league minimum of $400,000 to the $27.5 million Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees makes annually. Salaries are based on a combination of what a player has done and what is reasonable to expect he can do. Top performers in their mid- to late twenties and early thirties are those who can expect the big bucks. Players can either sign a contract extension with their current team or they can wait until their contract expires and they become a free agent. Both scenarios have pros and cons.

As far as a contract extension goes, it is guaranteed money, and who doesn’t like job security? Baseball is a gruelling sport and every player is one injury away from seeing his career end. With a long-term contract, even if the unthinkable happens, the injured player still gets paid. Free agency, on the other hand, usually means a lot more money. It can also be a strong motivator for good players to have great seasons. (Adrian Beltre’s 2004 and 2010 seasons anyone?)

Mauer Gives $70 Million to Charity

by on March 30, 2010   10 Comments

Joe Mauer inked a 8-year contract with his hometown Minnesota Twins this past week worth $23 million a year starting in 2011 for a total guaranteed value of $184 million.  If you play fantasy baseball you know that Joe Mauer is the best offensive catcher on planet Earth, but he is also one of the best defensive catchers, too, which separates him from the shortlist of quality catchers in the big leagues.

Despite being one of the highest paid players in the game, Mauer still generously gave the Twins a hometown discount and the IRS should make an exception and allow him to write off at least $70 million as a donation to charity.

ALL MLB TEAM (Pre-Season 2010)

by on March 8, 2010   9 Comments

Imagine another planet like Earth that also played baseball (or something along those lines, it won’t work for countries because I’m choosing the best of the best for an all MLB team which consists of players from many countries).  Who would you choose to be on your 25 man roster?   Would you choose the best overall player, the young and upcoming prospect that might save your franchise (e.g. “Jesus” Strasburg, I mean Stephen), the big game playoff performers, or your favorites from your team?  Who would you want to manage these superstars?  This is a list of those players and that coach.  However this list does not include your typical bullpen because I am doing this as more of an All-Star of All-Star’s team (or how players are chosen come All-Star time).  There are thousands of players to choose from with the options and possibilities being almost infinite.

Twins on Target (Field)?

by on February 28, 2010   One Comment

The Minnesota Twins have a long history of pulling all the right strings in order to give their team the best chance to win the AL Central given minimum resources.  However, someone in the organization who is soon to be fired, if they have not been fired already, lobbied for and won the decision to have Target Field, the new $390 million dollar home for the Twins, as an outdoor facility (no retractable roof, nada).  In case you aren’t familiar with general geography – Minneapolis, Minnesota, is about as far from an ideal local for an outdoor ballpark given the Major League schedule as Seattle, Washington, is a great place for Gizmo (from the movie Gremlins, you’ll have to Google it if you were born in the 90s).

The average high temperature in Minneapolis won’t get into the 60 degree range until April 20th, 8 days after the Twins hope to open the season on the 12th.  The Twins always seem to press the right buttons and make the most out of minimal resources, but will the Metrodome magic be gone in Target Field?  Are the Twins going to be the same kind of force in the AL Central without the home field advantage of the baggy in right field?  I for one, say, not even close.