Twins catcher Joe Mauer underwent an MRI this week on his surgically-repaired left knee that showed only inflammation. That means that he will not need another procedure this offseason and that only “rest and rehab” will be required for a full recovery.
Twins GM Bill Smith relayed this information to MLB.com’s Kelly Thesier on Thursday afternoon.
Mauer missed 10 games in September alone and hit only .250 with zero extra-base hits during the postseason this year, all due in large part to his sore left knee. He should get better stamina out of his joint and ligament in 2011, a full year removed from the first knee surgery.
The 27-year-old turned in a .327/.402/.469 overall batting line in 2010 with nine home runs and 75 RBI over 510 at-bats.
Twins players Micheal Cuddyer, Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn and Jason Repko have also undergone surgeries this offseason. They’re all expected to be ready for the start of spring training next year.
The Mariners are in the midst of reconstructing their roster, a process which most recently resulted in the trade of first baseman/DH Edwin Encarnación to the Yankees, per a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan. While the teams have yet to publicly confirm the deal, the Mariners are expected to receive pitching prospect Juan Then and will likely eat a significant portion of Encarnación’s salary as well.
Encarnación is a sizable get for the Yankees, who could benefit from the veteran’s power and consistency in their ongoing drive toward the postseason. The 36-year-old infielder missed some time with a bout of lower back tightness, dental issues, and soreness in his left hand, but has still maintained a decent .241/.356/.531 batting line with an AL-best 21 home runs, an .888 OPS, and 1.7 fWAR through his first 289 plate appearances of the year. Per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, Encarnación has another $11-12 million left on his contract in 2019, with a $20 million option for the 2020 season and a $5 million buyout.
Then, 19, was acquired by the Yankees in a three-person trade with the Mariners during the 2017 offseason. The right-hander currently ranks no. 27 in the Yankees’ system and made his last pro ball appearance for New York’s rookie-level affiliate in 2018, pitching to a 2.70 ERA, 2.0 BB/9, and 7.6 SO/9 across 50 innings. It’s not clear if any other players are involved in the trade, though USA Today’s Bob Nightengale notes that no other prospects are thought to be included in the package for Encarnación.