The Minnesota Twins will move Joe Mauer to first base for the 2014 season.
“After consultation with doctors from Mayo Clinic and team doctors, and given the inherent risks of future injury at the catcher position, the organization and Joe determined that it would be in the best interest of both him and the Twins for a position change,” said the club in a statement.
Mauer suffered a concussion in August and the Twins want to make sure that their $23 million investment stays in their lineup. Mauer’s current contract runs though the 2018 season.
The 30-year-old Mauer hit .324/.404/.476 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI last season in 113 games. His bat will not look nearly as great in the Twins lineup at first base but this move is as much about keeping him on the field as anything else.
Moving Mauer to first base will force the Twins to seek an alternate catching option via free agency.