So Joe Mauer and the Twins have a new eight-year, $184 million contract. Who's getting the better end of the deal? Looking at that question leads to all kinds of interesting statistical issues.
For one thing, while everyone loves Mauer (really, who doesn't?), baseball fans may not quite appreciate just how great, and how unusual, a player he is. Yes, he hit .365 last year, but it was also a really loud .365: Mauer's secondary average (total of extra bases plus walks plus stolen bases per at-bat) was an even higher .375. Only 10 full-time catchers have ever hit over .350 in a season, but just eight (in 10 different seasons) have ever posted an OPS over 1.000, which is even more valuable. Mauer made both lists.
To see the statistical proof that explains why Joe Mauer's contract makes perfect sense, you need to be an ESPN Insider.