According to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney, there are “strong indications” that the Twins and catcher Joe Mauer are “gathering momentum” toward a long-term contract extension.
Mauer’s agent, Ron Shapiro, was spotted near the Twins’ spring training facility on Sunday afternoon and Olney has been picking up on hints of progress. The 26-year-old catcher, widely regarded as one of the best all-around players in the league, is thought to be seeking a contract worth between $20 million-$25 million annually.
Mauer posted an incredible .365/.444/.587 batting line last season while collecting 28 homers, 94 runs, 30 doubles and 96 RBI in 138 games. He’s a native of St. Paul, Minnesota, a neighboring city to Minneapolis, but a hometown discount probably won’t be in the cards. It’s Shaprio’s job to get the highest possible contract for his client and you can bet he’s doing his darnedest to pull that off. Mauer has said previously that he would prefer to avoid the distractions of in-season negotiations, so Opening Day is serving as a loose deadline in the ongoing talks.
The Orioles announced, prior to Sunday’s game against the Yankees, that the club signed pitcher Tommy Hunter to a major league contract. In related roster moves, the club recalled pitcher Oliver Drake from Triple-A Norfolk and designated pitcher T.J. McFarland and outfielder Julio Borbon for assignment.
The Indians released Hunter on Thursday after he struggled in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus. Hunter was recovering from a non-displaced fracture in his lower back. The right-hander put up a respectable 3.74 ERA with a 17/5 K/BB ratio in 21 2/3 innings for the Indians.
This will be Hunter’s second stint with the Orioles. The O’s had acquired him along with first baseman Chris Davis at the trade deadline from the Rangers in 2011 in the Koji Uehara trade.
The Orioles are only responsible for paying Hunter the prorated major league minimum.
Orioles DH Mark Trumbo drilled a two-run home run to left-center field off of reliever Ben Heller in the eighth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Yankees. In doing so, he became the first player to reach the 40-homer plateau this season.
Trumbo finished 1-for-4 on the afternoon. Along with the 40 dingers, he’s hitting .257/.317/.541 with 96 RBI. He has already set a career-high in homers and is four RBI away from tying his career high in that regard.
Trumbo is eligible for free agency after the season. Needless to say, his performance in 2016 bodes well for his ability to secure a hefty contract.