Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Last week, we looked at how Cleveland is shifting catcher Carlos Santana to third base, and now another AL Central team is moving their catcher elsewhere.
The Twins are using the vacancy of one of their longtime franchise cornerstones to move the other cornerstone to a position they hope will keep him healthy. Former AL MVP Justin Morneau was traded last summer and, with his position at first open, Minnesota is sliding Joe Mauer there.
"Knowing just how valuable Mauer is to the franchise, the front office and Mauer made the decision to get him out from behind the plate to a position that wouldn’t beat up his body on a daily basis. He had played a handful of games at first base over the last two season as a fill-in for Morneau, and he picked up the new position with relative ease. Yet Mauer had been a catcher nearly his entire baseball career, dating back to his days as a three-sport athlete at Cretin-Derham Hall in nearby St. Paul. As much as Mauer loved catching, the new father of twin girls saw the bigger picture and knew the change was the right thing. – Tyler Mason, Fox Sports North"
Mauer, himself a former MVP, has had trouble staying on the field. His career high in games played came in 2012 (147), but he is very productive when he does play. A lifetime .323 hitter, Mauer will be replaced behind home plate by Kurt Suzuki.
Follow the final jump for news from the Chicago White Sox