ORLANDO, Fla. — The Twins announced this morning that Joe Mauer will switch to first base in an effort to keep him healthy from the concussions he’s received catching.
That appears to open the Twins up to acquiring a full time catcher. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, a free agent, could suddenly be a good fit for Minnesota.
The Mauer decision came after the former MVP and batting champion met with doctors at the Mayo Clinic.Given the dangers of the catching position and past concussions, the organization and Mauer came to the conclusion that switching positions would be in everyone’s best interest.
Mauer batted .324 with 11 homers and 47 RBIs in 113 games. He suffered a concussion after fouling a ball off his mask on August 19 and was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list and didn’t return to action the remainder of the season.
Mauer has played 56 career games at first base. He was named AL MVP and won his third batting title in 2009. He’s been a six-time All-Star as a catcher.
The move has been discussed within the Twins organization for some time.
There are Twins officials who like Saltalamacchia’s game. He won’t be the only catcher they consider, however.