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Souhan: Mauer worthy of mega money from Twins

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$23 million a year for Twins catcher Joe Mauer is a bargain, according to Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune.

Souhan notes that there are 21 players in MLB making $20 million or more this season, but only three play for a first-place team -- and they all play for the Detroit Tigers. Pitcher Justin Verlander, third baseman Miguel Cabrera and first baseman Prince Fielder have all put up big numbers to keep the Tigers on top of the AL Central division.

Souhan's message is simple: Paying top dollar for superstars doesn't guarantee a first-place finish or even a playoff team, so fans shouldn't blame any of the Twins' losing seasons on Mauer.

Check out the list of the 20 highest paid players in baseball this season.

1. Alex Rodriguez - Yankees - $29 million

2. Cliff Lee - Phillies - $25 million

3. Johan Santana - Mets - $24.6 million

4. Mark Teixeira - Yankees - $23.1 million

5. Prince Fielder - Tigers - $23 million

6. Joe Mauer - Twins - $23 million

7. C.C. Sabathia - Yankees - $23 million

8. Tim Lincecum - Giants - $22.2. million

9. Miguel Cabrera - Tigers - $21 million

10. Adrian Gonzalez - Dodgers - $21 million

11. Zack Greinke - Dodgers - $21 million

12. Vernon Wells - Yankees - $21 million

13. Matt Cain - Giants - $20.8 million

14. Cole Hamels - Phillies - $20.5 million

15. Matt Kemp - Dodgers - $20.2 million

16. Justin Verlander - Tigers - $20.1 million

17. Carl Crawford - Dodgers - $20 million

18. Roy Halladay - Phillies - $20 million

19. Ryan Howard - Phillies - $20 million

20. Barry Zito - Giants - $20 million

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