The early commentary from Ron Gardenhire (who may or may not have a say in coming years) indicates that he’s not ready to surrender that advantage. But if Mauer’s current concussion is more than a brief time on the sideline, the incentive to move him will grow.
Moving Mauer would prompt the Twins to decline re-signing Justin Morneau (a free agent after the season), which is a decision they might reach regardless. It would probably keep them out of the bidding for Cuban defector Jose Abreu, which they may or may not enter. It would force them to either hasten the arrival of prospect Josmil Pinto next season or get by with the combo of Doumit and Chris Herrmann.
The equation hasn’t changed. Mauer is more valuable as a catcher than as a first baseman. But he’s more valuable as a first baseman than on the shelf. And now that he’s in his 30s, that second sentence is gaining importance.
Edward Thoma (344-6377; email@example.com) maintains his Baseball Outsider blog at fpbaseballoutsider.blogspot.com. Follow him on Twitter @bboutsider.