Twins great Joe Mauer says he'll consider retirement after 2018 season

Joe Mauer is contemplating retirement at the end of the year, reports the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

The longtime Minnesota Twins first baseman and catcher told the Star-Tribune that he will think long and hard about retirement this offseason.

"There's a lot that goes into it than just, 'Do you want to play?'" Mauer told the Star-Tribune. "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.

"It's interesting. It's a big decision, and I want to make sure I'm 100 percent about it."

Mauer is currently in the final season of his eight-year, $184 million contract, batting .274 with six home runs and 43 RBI. The 35-year-old is a six-time All-Star and he has been with the Twins organization since they chose him as the first overall pick in the 2001 MLB June Amateur Draft. 

"We've had some moments," Mauer said. "Regardless, this last home stand is going to be pretty emotional, when we come back. I'm already starting to feel a little bit like that.

At the time he signed the eight-year deal with Minnesota, Mauer was coming off an MVP season in which he led the league in batting, on-base percentage and slugging while playing Gold Glove defense as a catcher. Then in the 2010-11 offseason, Mauer required knee surgery and complications cost him half the 2011 season. But in 2012, Mauer made the All-Star team and once again led the league in on-base percentage while playing in 147 games. The Twins fixture then suffered another setback when in 2013 he was diagnosed with a concussion after he took foul tip off his catcher's mask. 

The post-concussion symptoms plagued Mauer for years afterwards, and eventually prompted the Twins and Mauer to agree on moving to first base following the 2013 season, leaving behind what many thought to be a Hall of Fame career as a catcher.

Mauer has been a member of three division-winning teams and been to the postseason four times, mostly recently when the Twins earned the second American League wild-card spot last season. But he's never been on the winning end of a playoff series.

According to the Star-Tribune, Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and GM Thad Levine have not approached Mauer about his plans and will let him take as much time as he needs to make a decision.

"Not knowing either way, what direction I'm going. It's been a grind, a lot of things going on this year," Mauer said. "And I'm just trying to enjoy it."

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