Identifying Best Potential Trade Destinations for Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau
I don’t believe they are going anywhere.
Joe Mauer is still one of the best catchers in the American League and Justin Morneau is showing flashes of what he once was. Now, I believe the Twins will hold on to their former AL MVPs, but that doesn’t mean that some of the other 29 teams might not take a flyer on the M & M boys.
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The Texas Rangers are a team close to winning a championship, one strike away last year, and who knows what will happen this postseason. If the Rangers don’t win the World Series this year after appearing two straight years, the team may be looking to make some big moves.
Slugger Josh Hamilton is a free agent at years end, so the club will first have to focus on that, but then they could go after a big name. The Rangers current catcher is Geovany Soto and Mauer would be a huge upgrade. Mitch Moreland is the Rangers current first baseman, 27, so the Rangers would more likely be making a Mauer move than Morneau.
New York Mets
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I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t know everything about baseball. I don’t know everything about anything, but I believe I have typically heard the name of every starter in the MLB at least once. The Mets starting catcher is Josh Thole and I can say pretty certainly that I’ve never heard of him.
The Mets may look to bring in Joe Mauer in their cavalcade of former Twins: Johan Santana, R.A. Dickey, and Jon Rauch. Let’s just hope if this deal goes down the Twins don’t get hosed like they did in the Johan trade.
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Miami, how close are you to contention? The Marlins are sporting a rookie catcher in Rob Brantly. If they figure they are years out, they don’t trade for Mauer as a catcher. First base is another story.
The Marlins have 36 year old, 269 pound Carlos Lee playing first base. He has to be close to done. Miami could be looking for a new first baseman and both Mauer and Morneau fit that bill. Mauer might be more valuable in the NL since he can catch, play first, and in dire situations go stand in right field for a game.
San Francisco Giants
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The Giants have a very fluid situation on their hands. Do they resign Melky Cabrera despite his suspension for PEDs? If they do, then this is probably a moot point, but if they don’t resign him, they will look to add someone to pick up his slack.
Buster Posey is set as the Giants catcher for a long time, but young first baseman Brandon Belt really isn’t putting up typical first base stats. He only has seven home runs and 55 RBIs (as of Sunday’s game). Both Mauer and Morneau could add another nice piece to a team ready for a run.
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Even division champs can look for room to improve. It may be nitpicking, but most teams could improve on their catching or maybe it’s just that Mauer is better than most catchers. The Reds current catcher is Ryan Hannigan and he has only 2 homeruns and 23 RBIs on the season.
All in all, if anybody has a doubt at catcher they should look at Mauer. If an AL team has an opening at catcher, first, or DH it would be a smart idea to look at both Mauer and Morneau.
If I were the Twins, I’d keep them both.