The debate over Joe Mauer’s future at catcher almost certainly will revive now that the former MVP is on the disabled list with bilateral leg weakness.
If the Minnesota Twins want to move Mauer to another position, next offseason probably would be as good a time as any.
Third base would be a possibility if the Twins are uncertain about Danny Valencia as a long-term solution. But Mauer’s more logical destination would be the outfield, where the Twins already are dealing with a number of moving parts.
Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel are eligible for free agency after this season. Delmon Young will be entering his final and most lucrative year of arbitration. Two prospects, Ben Revere and Joe Benson, are expected to be ready for the majors soon.
The Twins, if they lost both Cuddyer and Kubel, could use Young in one corner and Mauer in the other. They also could trade follow a similar blueprint if they traded Young and re-signed Cuddyer and/or Kubel.
Another possibility would be to play Mauer in center and move Denard Span to a corner. Mauer’s leg issues likely would ease if he no longer were catching. Scouts say he has the speed and instincts to play center.
The Twins’ depth and flexibility in the outfield also would help in their search for a catcher to replace Mauer. The team could build a package around Young, Span or one of its outfield prospects.
One move the Twins might now regret: The trade of catcher Wilson Ramos to the Nationals last July for reliever Matt Capps. Ramos is off to a hot start, and Nationals officials believe he could develop into an All-Star.
— Ken Rosenthal