The Twins have not officially confirmed or denied a report by WCCO-TV in Minneapolis that the team has agreed to a 10-year contract extension with star catcher Joe Mauer.
The sides do have mutual interest in reaching a long-term deal, raising the likelihood of an agreement. With the team expanding its payroll and opening a new ballpark this year, the signing of Mauer, a local icon, is a high priority.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told the St. Paul Pioneer Press over the weekend that he doesn't "sit and fret about" Mauer's future with the club.
"I think the right thing's going to happen," Gardenhire said, according to the newspaper. "I think we all do. I think we all know the ramifications if something were not to happen and it'd go the other way. ... Everyone knows the right thing to do here and the smart thing, and everybody's trying to get that done."
Without a new contract, Mauer would become a free agent after earning $12.5 million this year. The St. Paul native turns 27 in April.
Mauer took 27 of 28 first-place votes in winning the American League's MVP Award last season, becoming only the second catcher in 33 years to win an MVP.
He hit a career-high .365, the highest average for a catcher in MLB history, to win his third batting title and second in a row.
He is a three-time All-Star and a two-time Gold Glove winner.