Yankees decline their 2011 options on Lance Berkman, Kerry Wood, and Nick Johnson

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Marc Carig of the Newark Star Ledger reports that the Yankees have declined their 2011 options on Lance Berkman, Kerry Wood, and Nick Johnson, all of which were expected moves.

Berkman’s contract included a $15 million team option or $2 million buyout for 2011, but as part of his accepting a trade to the Yankees it was changed to a mutual option. New York made it a moot point by declining their end after he hit just .255/.358/.349 in 37 games after the trade.

Wood’s deal contained an $11 million option for 2011, but with no buyout required that was a no-brainer to decline.

Johnson had a $5.25 million mutual option for 2011, which is actually slightly less than he earned this season, but the Yankees chose a $250,000 buyout after the oft-injured first baseman missed nearly the entire season following wrist surgery.

Twins to retire Joe Mauer’s No. 7

AP Photo/Jim Mone
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Twins senior director of communications Dustin Morse announced that the Twins will honor former C/1B Joe Mauer by retiring his uniform number 7. Mauer announced his retirement from baseball on November 9.

Mauer will join Harmon Killebrew (No. 3), Tony Oliva (No. 6), Tom Kelly (No. 10), Kent Hrbek (No. 14), Rod Carew (No. 29), Kirby Pucket (No. 34), and Bert Blyleven (No. 28) as Twins to have their numbers retired.

Mauer, 35, spent 15 seasons in the majors, all with the Twins. He posted a career .306/.388/.439 triple-slash line with 143 home runs and 923 RBI. He won the AL MVP Award in 2009, won the batting title three times, earned three Gold Gloves and five Silver Sluggers, and made the AL All-Star team six times. Sadly, his career was limited due to injuries, including a concussion that caused him to move from catcher to first base.

Five years from now, Mauer will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot. There will certainly be some arguments for and against his candidacy. He retired with 55.1 career Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference, which definitely puts him in the conversation. But, as always, there’s never a consensus.