The Minnesota Twins have offered outfielder Byron Buxton an extension upwards of $70 million, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Apparently the deal is loaded with incentives to grow that figure, provided he can stay on the field.
Rosenthal also added that if Buxton and the Twins can’t come to terms on a long-term deal, he’ll be dealt before the July 30 trade deadline. No pressure.
Performance wise, the 27-year-old center fielder is worth far more than $70 million, so why the diminished offer? Well, health. That’s pretty much the kicker. Buxton is currently nursing a fractured left hand, and he missed time earlier this season with a hip strain. More importantly, he hasn’t managed to put together a full season since his debut in 2015.
That’s seven-straight seasons of inconsistent production in center field, regardless of the type of player Minnesota thinks they have in Buxton. As they always say…the best ability is availability.
Buxton was hitting .369 having scored 21 runs in his 103 at bats in 2021, and that’s largely why the Twins want to lock him up long term. Of course you could make the argument Buxton is seeing a bit of bad luck with the injury bug, but at some point, a trend raises some eye brows.
If he declines the offer, who could reach out?
I’ve received plenty of traffic online about the Yankees wanting to add a bat and that they could end up landing Buxton. I don’t buy that, as most of the reports out of New York claim the bombers have left-handed bats on their wish list.
Buxton does, however, add some much-needed athleticism to that team, and really any team in a league that’s straying away from speed. We’ll see where negotiations lead with just two weeks left on the timer. His landing spot could be anywhere at this point in the season.