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Mauer discussed how he plans to thoroughly weigh his decision in the offseason:
“There’s a lot that goes into it than just, ‘Do you want to play?’ There’s a lot of different dynamics that go into it. I owe it to myself and my family to sit down and think about those things. I have had some conversations with some people close to me and it’s amazing. Getting little bits from different people that are helping me cultivate this [decision]. I still have a lot to think about. I still have people who I want to speak to. It’s interesting. It’s a big decision, and I want to make sure I’m 100 percent about it.”
Mauer is a free agent this offseason, so he wouldn’t be leaving any money on the table if he retired.
The 35-year-old is also suffering through one of the worst seasons of his career. He’s still batting .272, but he’s unrecognizable from the hitter who won American League MVP in 2009. He’s slugging .374 with six home runs and 43 RBI. According to FanGraphs, Mauer’s 0.8 WAR is his second-lowest ever.
Neal also noted Mauer was dealing with concussion-like symptoms earlier this year after hitting his head on the ground while diving to make a play in the Twins’ 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels on May 11.
Mauer suffered a concussion in 2013 that accelerated what was going to be a full-time move from catcher to first base. He told reporters in 2016 he had continued to feel the effects of the concussion years later as he would have blurred vision at the plate during day games.
Whenever he does officially retire, Mauer will go down as one of the greatest players in Twins history, and he’s likely a lock for the Hall of Fame.
According to Baseball Reference, Mauer boasts a 46.9 JAWS score, which averages a player’s career WAR with their peak WAR over a seven-year span. Mauer’s JAWS score is seventh-best among catchers, and the six players ahead of him are all enshrined in Cooperstown, New York.