Well Twins fans, has it really come to this…the dreaded CBC (Closer By Committee). My thoughts on the candidates:
The safe choice. Matt Guerrier is a solid setup man, and would likely do a tidy job in the ninth as well. The problem: He’s oh so valuable as that solid setup guy. I’d only go to Matty if another candidate fails.
Well, it’s clear from the picture that Jon Rauch would have the role if intimidation was the only factor. He’s got a live fastball, but can’t always control it. He’s the guy I would throw out there to begin with if Neshek isn’t ready. Has previous closing experience in Washington, for what it’s worth.
When we last saw Jose Mijares, the Yankees were walking off. I would be really scared trusting this guy to the ninth inning in pretty much any situation. He’s too much of a head-case and easily melts down (the worst character trait of a potential closer).
The picture says it all for Jesse Crain.
Of course, if Pat Neshek successfully shows he has come back from Tommy John surgery, this whole debate will be moot. I mean, would you want that coming at you? Every time he’s been healthy he’s dominated batters, so barring arm issues he should be the guy.
Well, Joe Mauer is going to have a lot more to smile about now…
…and so do we (the fans)! Eight more years (nine, counting 2010) of arguably the most talented player in the major leagues right now.
Although crossing the 20% (of the total payroll) threshold has been suicide for many teams (just remember A-Rod going to Texas), I think the Twins have a good enough organization and farm system to build around Mauer (or keep the talent around, as is the case now) for many years.
Giving 8 years and $184 million to a health-risk catcher may seem dicey, but Mauer is the exception to the rule. If he wanted to stay, and he did, then the right move was locking him up at any price.
It just boggles my mind that only 20 years ago, Kirby Puckett…
was the first guy in the majors to make $3 million per season. Crazy.