Joe Mauer was given clearance for light workouts last week and even participated in batting practice this past weekend. But the Twins’ star catcher just experienced a pretty frightening setback.
According to Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Mauer’s concussion symptoms returned following a workout Wednesday evening at Target Field and he was sent home to rest. Twins general manager Terry Ryan told Miller that Mauer was in an “irritable” mood when he left the park.
“This was a bad day,” Ryan said on Wednesday night, “but we’ll come back and try tomorrow.”
It’s a near certainty now that Mauer will not play in another major league game this season.
He has been on the shelf since taking several foul tips off his catcher’s mask on August 19.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.