Dealing For Halladay Could Mean Bidding War for Mauer

Probably for the past year or two fans have been looking toward the 2010/11 offseason when Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer would become a free agent. Some salavated over the possibility of adding Mauer, some cringed at the possible price tag, a few Yankees fans shrugged it off.

joe-mauerThe fans in the final group didn’t shrug it off because of any indifference towards Mauer’s skills, but instead because they were the ones who knew about Jesus Montero and figured he’d be, if not ready, very close to being major league ready at the same time. Yes, we were anticipating an offseason where the Yankees weren’t tossing money at the biggest free agent.

Now it appears that Montero is at risk of being dealt for Roy Halladay in the upcoming weeks and that could be very costly, at least in terms of dollars, for the Yankees. Maybe in the short term, adding Halladay could mean big dividends for the Yankees, but it would set up another offseason of the Yankees spending possibly upto half a billion dollars again.

Mark Teixeira signed for $180 million, but that could be chump change compared to Joe Mauer who will hit the market at a younger age than Tex and at a more premium position. At the same time all the big spenders will be looking for a catcher. The Yankees will be interested, the Red Sox will have both Jason Varitek and Victor Martinez coming off their books, the Angels could look to upgrade, and the Mets will probably be interested as well.

That all sets the Yankees up for the perfect storm. Sure the Yankees have a few decent catching options in their minor leagues, but this is the Yankees we’re talking about and Austin Romine, while he is a very good prospect himself, is not Montero. The others are further away and are not nearly guaranteed enough to keep them from spending big dollars on Mauer.

I’m sure Brian Cashman knows this and I thought it would keep him from dealing Montero even for Halladay. But as we get deeper into this winter, I can’t help but feel Montero becomes more and more vulnerable. Once you realize that there are four ace quality starting pitchers on the market at the same time, Hallday, Cliff Lee, Josh Beckett, and Brandon Webb, you realize it could be a very expensive winter for the Yankees a year from now.

This entry was posted in Editorial and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Dealing For Halladay Could Mean Bidding War for Mauer

  1. Matt Imbrogno says:

    I'd be willing to bet something of great value that Joe Mauer never even makes it to Free Agency.

  2. That could be, but if he resigns with the Twins he'd be throwing a lot of money away. He might not see it that way, but I mean, it could be a ton of money. That's got to be hard to do.

  3. Matt Imbrogno says:

    <blockquote cite="comment-143">

    Rob Abruzzese: That could be, but if he resigns with the Twins he’d be throwing a lot of money away. He might not see it that way, but I mean, it could be a ton of money. That’s got to be hard to do.

    Would he, though? This isn't like Santana and Hunter. Those two were let go to free up money for Mauer. Their pitchers are all young and cost controlled and Justin Morneau is their only other high price option.

  4. Dan says:

    If the Twins don't resign Mauer, there will definitely be a huge bidding war between the Bosox and Yanks, even if Montero is not dealt. Still, I can't see the Yanks moving Jackson and Montero in the same offseason.

  5. Ryan says:

    Even as a Yankee fan, I hope Mauer stays with the Twins. He grew up in Minnesota and he came up through their farm. The yankees, knowing all the big name free agent pitchers for next year, would be idiots to deal Montero for Halladay when they can get another solid pitcher else where. Montero is going to be another Pudge and to trade that for 1 year isnt worth it. Go sign a high risk pitcher and guarentee him the number four spot and have Joba and Hughes battle for the fifth spot. Then they still have 6 starter and bring back Gaudin.

  6. I really don't see why the Yankees feel they need Halladay so badly. If they make a tougher push for Sheets or Harden or Duchscherer then they'll have a strong rotation and plenty of depth. Hughes or Joba can fight for the 5th spot and Aceves, Gaudin, Mitre, Zach McAllister, Ivan Nova, and Christian Garcia provide even more depth in case there is a rash of injuries. If there is a major injury they can always add another pitcher later. Brandon Webb will probably be available at the deadline if the Dbacks are out of it. Hell, they can even keep Wang around if they really want depth.

  7. Brandon says:

    Here is my opinion on it. (if you even care….well too bad haha)

    Jesus Montero will not be a catcher in the MLB unless teams want to basically throw away the catching position. Why he isn't playing first base in the minors right now (most likely because of Teixeira) is beyond me.

    I WANT the Yankees to deal Montero because-well-he is easily replacable. His bat may be the best in a while and he could turn out to be Pudge or Posada but his defense is just plain horrible. Do the Yankees want a DH for the next 10 years? How about when Posada and Jeter and etc are done in the field and want to stay Yankees?

    Trade Montero and Joba for Halladay and if they reject say you have 2 days to rethink things. If you still say no we are out for good.

    Don't forget the Yankees would still not need to get Mauer if they trade Montero. They still have John Murphy, Austin Romine, and Gary Sanchez….even Cervelli could turn out to be an option.

    I should post on this in a few days over at my blog but this is my opinion for those of you who read this……thoughts?

  8. Matt Imbrogno says:

    <blockquote cite="comment-150">

    Brandon: Here is my opinion on it. (if you even care….well too bad haha)Jesus Montero will not be a catcher in the MLB unless teams want to basically throw away the catching position. Why he isn’t playing first base in the minors right now (most likely because of Teixeira) is beyond me.
    I WANT the Yankees to deal Montero because-well-he is easily replacable. His bat may be the best in a while and he could turn out to be Pudge or Posada but his defense is just plain horrible. Do the Yankees want a DH for the next 10 years? How about when Posada and Jeter and etc are done in the field and want to stay Yankees?Trade Montero and Joba for Halladay and if they reject say you have 2 days to rethink things. If you still say no we are out for good.Don’t forget the Yankees would still not need to get Mauer if they trade Montero. They still have John Murphy, Austin Romine, and Gary Sanchez….even Cervelli could turn out to be an option.
    I should post on this in a few days over at my blog but this is my opinion for those of you who read this……thoughts?

    1. Montero is playing catcher in the minors because he can and hasn't failed at doing so. It has little to do with Tex. He's playing there because he can and it makes his bat look that much better.
    2. If Montero is traded (and Joba or Hughes for that matter) it shouldn't be for Halladay or anyone like him–that is, old. The only players I'd consider trading those guys for are Hanley, King Felix, Timmy L, Josh Johnson, and Greinke. If you're going to give up young high upside guys, you'd better get young high upside guys.
    3. Montero is NOT easily replaceable. A bat like that comes through a system once in a blue moon. One of the guys at Project Prospect called him a "potential once in a generation talent." You don't trade that for a 33 year old, even if it is Roy Halladay. With that bat, his position is almost irrelevant. Is Mike Stanton's bat any less impressive because he's a right fielder? Absolutely not. Even if Montero has to move to DH, he still has 30-35 HR potential. That's valuable ANYWHERE on the field.
    4. Murphy, Romine, and Sanchez are very nice…but they're not Montero. They're not as advanced as him (Romine's the only one that even comes close, and even then, it's big ADV. Montero).

  9. <blockquote cite="comment-150">

    Brandon: His bat may be the best in a while and he could turn out to be Pudge or Posada but his defense is just plain horrible.

    Don’t forget the Yankees would still not need to get Mauer if they trade Montero. They still have John Murphy, Austin Romine, and Gary Sanchez….even Cervelli could turn out to be an option.

    First of all, by reading this statement I KNOW that you have never seen him play one inning or even looked at some statistical analysis of his defense. I have read quite a few things about Montero, but terrible defense is something I've never read about. Typically people will say that his build is not that of a catcher and that he needs more seasoning, but that is normal for most minor league catchers (the seasoning part not the build part). Combine that with the fact that his bat will play at any position and people talk about him moving. I know only one person who has seen him play in more than 10 games and he has assured me that, while he might not be the best defensively, he is more than capable of being a catcher.

    Also, aside from Romine, but probably not even him, none of those catchers will be ready next season. If next offseason comes and Posada is a year older and a year away from retirement, and they have no DH, makes me think that they will definitely go after Mauer if he is available assuming they trade Montero.

  10. Brandon says:

    I saw him play once in Trenton before the season ended.

    This is one of the people I got my info from–Thunder beat writer Mike Ashmore
    http://thunderbaseball.wordpress.com/2009/07/13/w

    I'm not saying they shouldn't go after Mauer….i'm just saying it wouldn't be awful if they didn't.

    While I hope he can be an MLB catcher with the Yankees I just don't see it happening.

    Btw I THINK the other person was Frankie Piliere might have been Chad Jennings though….

    From what I have read the Yankees are determined to make it work with him at catcher, but opinions vary on whether or not he can actually make it.

  11. Matt Imbrogno says:

    <blockquote cite="comment-154">

    Brandon: I saw him play once in Trenton before the season ended.This is one of the people I got my info from–Thunder beat writer Mike Ashmorehttp://thunderbaseball.wordpress.com/2009/07/13/w…I’m not saying they shouldn’t go after Mauer….i’m just saying it wouldn’t be awful if they didn’t.While I hope he can be an MLB catcher with the Yankees I just don’t see it happening.
    Btw I THINK the other person was Frankie Piliere might have been Chad Jennings though….From what I have read the Yankees are determined to make it work with him at catcher, but opinions vary on whether or not he can actually make it.

    But it's not because he's that bad at catching–everything I've read is that his release is pretty quick and his arm is quite strong, but his frame–like Mauer's–won't allow him to stick there.

  12. First of all, there is no way you can determine off of one game whether or not a guy can be a major league catcher or not. If you could I'd love to know what game you saw. How many times did he throw down to second? How many times did he have to block splitters/curveballs in the dirt? How many times did he block the plate?

    Maybe you should read that article again. Nowhere in it does he say that Montero is a horrible or even below average catcher. He said that Romine is a better catcher. Two big differences. He also never says that they SHOULD trade him, except in the headliine, he said that if you want Halladay you'd have to include him in a deal.

    I still would like to know where you got that he's a HORRIBLE catcher from all of that?