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Mauer to stay for four more years

The Minnesota Twins signed hometown hero Joe Mauer to a four-year contract worth $33 million, avoiding an arbitration hearing scheduled for Tuesday.

Mauer batted .347 and won the first American League batting title in MLB history for a catcher last year. He was given the second biggest contract in Twins franchise history.

According to the contract, Mauer will make $3.75 million in 2007, $6.28 million in 2008, $10.9 million in 2009 and $12.5 million in 2010. Mauer only made $400, 000 last year.

Mauer, only 24, will be under contract when the new stadium opens in 2010.

Twins General Manager Terry Ryan has been busy negotiating with numerous players trying to keep key players in Twins uniforms. So far, Ryan has signed MVP Justin Morneau, Nick Punto, Mauer Lew Ford and Juan Rincon. Michael Cuddyer, who had a very good season and was a key player last year, has yet to be signed.