Joe Mauer will examine his future in MLB following the 2018 season Mike Piazza Jersey
, he said in an interview with the Star Tribune'sLa Velle E. Neal III.Mauer discussed how he plans to thoroughly weigh his decision in the offseason:"There's a lot that goes into it than just, 'Do you want to play?'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.I have had some conversations with some people close to me and it's amazing. Getting little bits from different people that are helping me cultivate this [decision]. I still have a lot to think about. I still have people who I want to speak to.It's interesting. It's a big decision, and I want to make sure I'm 100 percent about it."Mauer is a free agent this offseason, so he wouldn't be leaving any money on the table if he retired.The 35-year-old is also suffering through one of the worst seasons of his career. He's still batting .272, but he's unrecognizable from the hitter who won American League MVP in 2009. He's slugging .374 with six home runs and 43 RBI. According toFanGraphs, Mauer's 0.8 WAR is his second-lowest ever.Neal also noted Mauer was dealing withconcussion-like symptomsearlier this year after hitting his head on the ground while diving to make a play in the Twins' 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels on May 11.Mauer suffered a concussion in 2013 that accelerated what was going to be afull-time movefrom catcher to first base. Hetold reportersin 2016 he had continued to feel the effects of the concussion years later as he would have blurred vision at the plate during day games.Whenever he does officially retire, Mauer will go down as one of the greatest players in Twins history, and he's likely a lock for the Hall of Fame.According toBaseball Reference, Mauer boasts a 46.9 JAWS score, which averages a player's career WAR with their peak WAR over a seven-year span. Mauer's JAWS score is seventh-best among catchers http://www.dodgersfanproshop.com/authentic-max-muncy-jersey
, and the six players ahead of him are all enshrined in Cooperstown, New York. Brian Snitker (ATL): 1-1Bud Black (COL): 3-1Craig Counsell (MIL): 3-1Bud Black and Craig Counsell will garner attention for shepherding the Colorado Rockies and Milwaukee Brewers into the postseason.But NL MOY honors will likely go to the Atlanta Braves' Brian Snitker, in keeping with the overachieving theme.The Braves are blessed with bushels of young talent but were supposed to be a year or more away from serious contention.Instead, they won the NL East outright over the favored Washington Nationals and fellow upstart Philadelphia Phillies. In his second full season at the helm, Snitker should get his due credit.AL Rookie of the Year3 of 8Masterpress/Getty ImagesShohei Ohtani (LAA): 1-1Miguel Andujar (NYY): 2-1Gleyber Torres (NYY): 10-1Shohei Ohtani's first MLB campaign has been a thrilling roller coaster. After a rough spring, he burst into the regular season as a fully formed two-way star.A balky elbow that will require Tommy John surgery derailed his pitching career, but he stuck around as a hitter and finished with 22 home runs and a .925 OPS to go along with a 3.31 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 51.2 innings.Durability concerns aside, Ohtani is too unique of a talent to not be the front-runner for AL Rookie of the Year honors.His chief competition comes from a pair of Yankees infielders: Miguel Andujar (.297 AVG, .855 OPS, 27 HR) and Gleyber Torres (.271 AVG Chase Utley Jersey
, .820 OPS, 24 HR). They'll grab most of the non-Ohtani vote鈥攅specially Andujar鈥攂ut the generational Japanese sensation should snag this prize.NL Rookie of the Year4 of 8Lynne Sladky/Associated PressRonald Acuna Jr. (ATL): 1-1Juan Soto (WAS): 3-1Harrison Bader (STL): 12-1Jack Flaherty (STL): 12-1As mentioned, the Braves have blossomed ahead of schedule and won the NL East behind a burgeoning young core.That core is exemplified by outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. The 20-year-old owns a .293/.366/.552 slash line with 26 home runs and 16 stolen bases, and he could garner stray MVP votes.He has competition from 19-year-old Nationals rookie Juan Soto (.292/.406/.517, 22 HR). But the fact that Acuna's Braves are charging into October while Soto's Nats stay home should tip the scales.Oh, and a cap tip to the St. Louis Cardinals' duo of outfielder Harrison Bader and right-hander Jack Flaherty, who warrant mention but haven't matched the hype of Soto or Acuna.AL Cy Young Award5 of 8Mike Ehrmann/Getty ImagesBlake Snell (TBR): 3-2Justin Verlander (HOU): 4-1Corey Kluber (CLE): 4-1Chris Sale (BOS): 4-1Blake Snell paces the AL with a 1.89 ERA. He's struck out 221 in 180.2 innings and owns a 21-5 record, if that's worth anything these days. He's the poster boy for the shockingly good underdog Rays.The Tampa Bay southpaw has competition from the Astros' Justin Verlander (2.52 ERA, 214 IP, 290 SO) http://www.dodgersfanproshop.com/authentic-max-muncy-jersey
, the Red Sox's Chris Sale (2.11 ERA, 158 IP, 237 SO) and the Cleveland Indians' Corey Kluber (2.89 ERA, 215 IP, 222 SO).That's a trio of decorated studs with impressive track records and multiple Cy Youngs between them.They could be measured against their past excellence, however, whereasSnell has that intoxicating new-ace smell.NL Cy Young Award6 of 8Scott Taetsch/Getty ImagesJacob deGrom (NYM): 1-1Max Scherzer (WAS): 3-2Aaron Nola (PHI): 9-1The Senior Circuit Cy Young chase features three NL East arms whose clubs whiffed on the postseason.There's New York Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom, who led both leagues with a 1.70 ERA while striking out 269 in 217 innings.There's three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, who led baseball with 330 strikeouts and posted a 2.53 ERA for the Nationals.Lagging behind that pair but still worth mentioning: Philadelphia Phillies righty Aaron Nola (2.34 ERA, 224 SO Maury Wills Jersey
, 212.1 IP).DeGrom has the edge for winning the ERA crown and amassing the highestWAR total, according to FanGraphs' measure (8.8 to Scherzer's 7.2). But don't be shocked if Mad Max adds another piece of hardware to his trophy case.AL MVP7 of 8Charles Krupa/Associated PressMookie Betts (BOS): 3-2J.D. Martinez (BOS): 3-1Francisco Lindor (CLE): 8-1Jose Ramirez (CLE): 8-1Mike Trout (LAA): 8-1The AL MVP race comes down to a pair of Red Sox.Mookie Betts led both leagues with a .346 average, clubbed 32 home runs and paced baseball with 10.2 WAR.His teammate J.D. Martinez outdistanced the field with 130 RBI, swatted 43 home runs and hit .330.Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez (.272 AVG, 39 HR, 34 SB) belongs in the conversation. You could make a case for Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor (.277 AVG, 38 HR, 25 SB). And oh, by the way, Mike Trout did Mike Trout things (.312 AVG Fernando Valenzuela Jersey
, 39 HR, 24 SB) for the also-ran Angels.All things considered, Betts' batting title and the fact that he posted 20 defensive runs saved in right field while Martinez was primarily a designated hitter should tip the scales.NL MVP8 of 8Aaron Gash/Associated PressChristian Yelich (MIL): 1-1Javier Baez (CHC): 3-1Nolan Arenado (COL): 3-1Christian Yelich's quest for the Triple Crown fell just short after Game 163.After the tiebreaker against the Cubs, the Brewers outfielderled the NL with a .326 average. He hit 36 home runs, one behind the Rockies' Nolan Arenado. And he tallied 110 RBI, one fewer than the Cubs' Javier Baez.Not coincidentally, Baez and Arenado are vying for NL MVP honors.For now, Yelich has the edge after rising from star to superstar, guiding his team to a division title and twice hitting for the cycle in 2018. All statistics current entering Monday and courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball Reference.