Joe Mauer at the plate for the Twins.
Target: Joe Mauer, C/1B
Type of move: Trade
2012 stats: Hit .319 and led the league with a .416 on-base percentage with 10 home runs and 85 RBIs.
Mauer has been an offensive machine in his nine years in Minnesota. He's led the league in hitting three times, on-base percentage twice and led the league in just about everything in 2009 when he was voted the AL MVP after leading the AL in hitting, on-base, slugging percentage and OPS. In 2012, he bounced back from an injury-plagued 2011 to once again hit well over .300 and serve as an on-base machine while finding his way onto some MVP ballots. At 29 years old, the Twins have been fairly careful with him behind the plate but he still caught more games last year than he played at first base or DH — a role he could easily help fill in Texas as he would be the No. 1 catcher and then someone else would be a No. 2, maybe even Geovany Soto at a lower price.
Here's the catch: Mauer is under contract through 2018, and over the next six years he's set to earn $23 million per year until he's 35 years old. Ouch. You'd have to think Mauer might be a primary catcher for 3-4 years at the most if he stays healthy. That contract makes it highly unlikely the Rangers would seriously consider this, but with the way the Twins have floundered in recent years they might look to rebuild, even if it means letting their hometown golden boy go.