Twins Extension Candidate: Byron Buxton
Image courtesy of David Berding-USA TODAY SportsByron Buxton
2020 Stats (39 games): .844 OPS, 124 OPS+, 1.9 WAR
Current Contract (2nd-Year Arbitration Eligible, Free Agent: 2023)
In his second year of arbitration, Buxton is likely heading for a contract close to $6 million. To put that in perspective, FanGraphs put Buxton’s value as worth almost $10 million last season and over $21 million during the 2019 campaign. There’s no question about the value he provides to the Twins, but the biggest issue is his ability to stay on the field and be healthy.
Pros of Extending Now
Buxton has shown the potential to be one of the best players in baseball. There’s little question that his presence on the field helps the Twins to win, especially with his elite defensive skills. He can make pitchers better by tracking down balls in the outfield and his offensive skills can be a second thought. Minnesota has tried to work with Buxton to keep him on the field by positioning him further back on defense and working with him to jump off two feet at the wall. These small changes could keep him on the field while making bigger plays.
Cons of Extending Now
He hasn’t been on the field and this isn’t exactly a secret. Buxton still has the potential to be one of baseball’s best players, but his health continues to be a concern. Even in a shortened 2020 season, he was limited to less than 40 games. He likely should have been the winner of the Gold Glove, but his lack of time on the field cost him the award. He’s only played over 92 games once in his six big-league seasons and that’s something a front office can’t ignore.
Last week, I tossed out a bold idea that the Twins should consider trading Buxton this winter. That likely isn’t going to happen because he still has two years of team control and there have been glimpses of how important he can be to the Twins roster. It’s difficult to predict what an extension would look like for a player like Buxton. He can be the team’s best player, but injuries have been part of his story at the big-league level. He can be as valuable as Mike Trout and Mookie Betts, but there’s no guarantee he will be on the field. Can the Twins pay him like an elite player even if they can’t predict how much he will be on the field?
How much would you give Buxton in an extension? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
— Latest Twins coverage from our writers
— Recent Twins discussion in our forums
— Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
- mikelink45 and dbminn like this