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Mauer signs 4 year contract

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Mauer signs 4 year contract

Postby jfg » Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:34 pm

From Mpls. Star Tribune:

Mauer signs 4-year contract

Patrick Reusse

The Twins announced this morning that they have agreed to a four-year contract with catcher Joe Mauer that will carry through the 2010 season.

Salary terms were not announced.

``We are pleased to have an agreement with one of Minnesota's brightest young stars,'' Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said in a statement. ``Joe has become one of the game's great young players on and off the field. He has a bright future with this organization and means a great deal to the people of Minnesota.''

Mauer, 23, became the first catcher to win an American League batting title with a .347 average in 2006. That was the highest average in the major leagues. He was named to the AL's All-Star team.

The Twins also attempted to work out a long-term deal with Justin Morneau, the AL's Most Valuable Player, but he recently signed a one-year contract.

The Twins now have avoided salary arbitration hearings with Mauer, Morneau, pitcher Juan Rincon, third baseman Nick Punto and outfielder Lew Ford. Right fielder Michael Cuddyer still has an arbitration hearing scheduled.

Mauer was the first pick in the 2001 draft out of Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, and became eligible for arbitration this winter for the first time. He became the first catcher to lead the majors in batting average and the first AL catcher to win the batting title.

"We're extremely happy, because there is not a player who belongs with the Twins more than Joe Mauer," his agent, Ron Shapiro, said in a brief phone interview with the Associated Press this morning.

Mauer didn't immediately return phone messages from the AP.

Mauer's rookie season, 2004, was cut short by a knee injury that raised some questions about how his body could handle the physical demands of his position behind the plate. But he has been fine ever since.

Twins pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., by next Sunday. Ryan has one more player left in arbitration, right fielder and cleanup hitter Michael Cuddyer.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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