And my concern is that Cron gets injured (or ineffective) before one of those guys is ready. Now who plays 1B? Someone whose bat doesn't really play there. Which is interesting considering how you felt about Mauer's bat playing there.
So let's say they keep Austin and cut Cron. What happens if Austin gets injured (or ineffective) before one of those guys is ready?
If you think Austin is a better player than Cron in 2019, fine. But concerns over who plays first base if the one they keep can't play isn't a valid argument. The situation would be exactly the same.
BTW, Cron will be the better player in 2019.