Joe Mauer's mega contract is in its final year, and he'd like to keep playing for the Twins

He's in the final year of his mega contract.

The mega contract that felt like it would never end is about to end, and Joe Mauer isn't willing to speculate on what will happen next.

Mauer's eight-year, $184 million contract expires at the end of the 2018 season. 

Will he retire? Based on his comments from Wednesday, probably not. 

"As long as I'm contributing and having fun and physically able to do that, I want to go as long as I can," Mauer said, via "Sometimes, that decision is made for you, but if it's up to me, I'd like to play as long as I can because I enjoy to go out and compete."

Mauer added that family and health will contribute to any decision he makes about playing beyond this season, but maintained that he wants to "play as long as I can." 

Mauer, who turns 35 in April, had a bounce-back summer in 2017, hitting .305 with 7 homers, 71 RBI and 36 doubles. 

It was the most RBIs he had produced since 2012 and the most doubles he'd put up since 2010, just one year after he won the MVP. 

Most encouraging was his .305 batting average, which broke a three-year slump of .277, .265 and .261 averages, a far cry from the .300+ he put up in seven of his first 10 seasons.

If Mauer doesn't remain with the Twins after this season, it would be fun to see what he could do for one season at Fenway Park with the Red Sox.

Think about how many warning track line drives he hits at Target Field: all of those would be doubles off the wall in Boston. 

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