The Minnesota Twins have placed catcher Joe Mauer on revocable waivers, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. In reverse order of win-loss standings through each league, teams will now have the opportunity to place claims on the player's contract, although it's unclear if the Twins actually want to get rid of Mauer's deal.
If a team claims Mauer, the Twins will be left with three options. They can either hand off the catcher's contract for nothing, attempt to negotiate a trade that would return talent, or pull the player back off waivers. Once the player has been claimed and pulled back, Minnesota can place him on waivers again, but they won't be able to pull him back if claimed.
This could be an opportunity for the Twins to shed major long-term financial commitments, as the Boston Red Sox proved recently by dealing over $200 million in guaranteed contracts to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Mauer is owed $142 million through 2018, by far the largest financial commitment on Minnesota's payroll.
The Twins don't appear to be looking for major financial savings these days, though. A team recently claimed first baseman Justin Morneau's contract, which includes a $14 million salary for 2013, but the Twins opted to pull him back and retain his services.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Red Sox don't plan to place a claim on Mauer, so that removes one of the big-money possibilities from the mix. If any team claims Mauer, you'd have to believe that it's a team with major money to spend.