MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins catcher Joe Mauer knows his contract status will be a topic that draws national attention this offseason. A report in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Wednesday said that Mauer and the Twins have started talks on a new contract, but the catcher indicated later that day that nothing serious has taken place between the two sides just yet. "Nothing new to report," Mauer said when asked about a possible contract extension in a phone interview late Wednesday. "I've gotten a chance to start thinking about those things, but we really haven't started [negotiating with the Twins]."More
Mauer, 26, is getting set to enter the final year of a four-year, $33 million contract that he signed before the start of the 2007 season. The Twins have expressed their interest in signing Mauer to a long-term deal and the expectation is that they'll push to get one done this winter before the catcher has to enter a contract year. Twins general manager Bill Smith has been quiet on the topic and indicated last week that the club isn't going to speak publicly about any negotiations that might take place. Mauer, so far, doesn't seem in a rush to get anything done. "Like I've said before, it'll happen when it needs to happen," Mauer said. "It's the same philosophy I've had. It's kind of been a busy offseason for me so far. One of my best friends, Tony [Leseman], is getting married this weekend. So that's kept my mind on other things as well." In addition to the wedding, Mauer has been busy with the award season. He won his second straight American League Gold Glove on Tuesday, and he's expected to snag his third Silver Slugger for the best hitting player at his position in the AL when the awards are announced Thursday. That's after Mauer batted .365 to become the first catcher in Major League history to win three batting titles, while also setting career-highs in home runs (28) and RBIs (96). After the Twins were swept out of the AL Division Series by the Yankees last month, Mauer said he's taken some time to reflect back on the season the team had and the one he personally had as well. "Obviously, I've had time to reflect on stuff like [the contract], but mostly it's been on the year in general," Mauer said. "I'm starting to appreciate what happened the last year. The run we made at the end. Being able to stay on the field and being able to produce. You kind of think about all sorts of things. Right now, it's a great time to think about things." As for his contract situation, Mauer reiterated that he believes it will all work out in time. "When it needs to happen, it will happen," Mauer said. "I'm not going to worry about it."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less