– The Twins have signed C Joe Mauer to an eight-year/$184M extension. An official announcement is expected tonight, but the deal includes a full no-trade clause for the reigning AL MVP and pays $23M per season through 2018. The extension took longer than expected to complete, but there was never much doubt that the two sides would work something out.
– Twins’ RHP closer Joe Nathan (right elbow) will miss the 2010 season because of a right elbow injury that will require surgery. Nathan made the decision after playing catch with Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson for 10 minutes on Sunday. The decision was expected despite the positive news of late. If all goes well during his ulnar collateral ligament replacement surgery, which is expected to occur within the next two weeks, he should be back around Spring Training of 2011.
“It didn’t go like we hoped. We knew it was a long shot, but I think this will clear my head. There definitely was no gray area. It was definitely on the dark side. We know now that we’re going to need to go in and have some surgery done and get this thing taken care of.”
He was injured on March 6 during a 20-pitch outing in a spring training game against the Boston Red Sox. The 35-year-old right-hander signed a $47M contract two years ago that guarantees him $11.25M both this season and next. The Twins have a $12.5M option for 2012, with a $2M buyout. Expect the Twins to shop around for a closer. They’ve already been linked to Padres’ RHP Heath Bell and Jays’ RHP Jason Frasor. RHP Jon Rauch will likely assume closing duties to begin the season.
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