Joe Mauer got the deal he deserves 

March, 25, 2010

So Joe Mauer and the Twins have a new eight-year, $184 million contract. Who's getting the better end of the deal? Looking at that question leads to all kinds of interesting statistical issues.

For one thing, while everyone loves Mauer (really, who doesn't?), baseball fans may not quite appreciate just how great, and how unusual, a player he is. Yes, he hit .365 last year, but it was also a really loud .365: Mauer's secondary average (total of extra bases plus walks plus stolen bases per at-bat) was an even higher .375. Only 10 full-time catchers have ever hit over .350 in a season, but just eight (in 10 different seasons) have ever posted an OPS over 1.000, which is even more valuable. Mauer made both lists.

Peter Keating | email

ESPN Senior Writer
Peter Keating is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, where he covers investigative and statistical subjects. He started writing "The Biz," a column looking at sports business from the fan's point of view, in 1999. He also coordinates the Magazine's annual "Ultimate Standings" project, which ranks all pro franchises according to how much they give back to fans. His work on concussions in football has earned awards from the Deadline Club, the New York Press Club and the Center for the Study of Sport in Society.