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Across the Meadow: The Buxton Saga

John and Jeremy cover every angle of the Twins decision to not bring Byron Buxton up in September. At a minimum, it's a curious decision. Some might call it shady. How does this effect the relationship between the organization and Buxton's camp? How could this impact the future between the two? All of this and more in the most recent episode of Across the Meadow.
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90 Comments

This is horrible optics for the FO, no other way to put it. If I’m a free agent, I want no part of coming here. More importantly, if I’m a prospect, I’m walking on eggshells.

I respect the Twins Daily’s writers quite a bit, but all but one or two of you actually supported your grading with reasoning. Even the incompletes seemed to be copping out a bit.

Is anyone else concerned that Falvey is a flat out phony that most likely doesn’t know a damn thing about baseball? Scary times for this Twins fan.
    • Hosken Bombo Disco likes this

 

 If I’m a free agent, I want no part of coming here. More importantly, if I’m a prospect, I’m walking on eggshells.

 

Really? I think this is a huge overreaction. Buxton's a career .230 hitter who can't hit an MLB curveball. And the FO ain't gonna play him because he can't put the bat on the ball.

 

The Twins are saying they'll play a guy based on results, not hype.

    • Thrylos, Jerr, diehardtwinsfan and 7 others like this
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TheLeviathan
Sep 03 2018 05:18 PM

 

This is horrible optics for the FO, no other way to put it. If I’m a free agent, I want no part of coming here. More importantly, if I’m a prospect, I’m walking on eggshells.

I respect the Twins Daily’s writers quite a bit, but all but one or two of you actually supported your grading with reasoning. Even the incompletes seemed to be copping out a bit.

Is anyone else concerned that Falvey is a flat out phony that most likely doesn’t know a damn thing about baseball? Scary times for this Twins fan.

 

I'm curious how you think he's a phony?In part, I think the optics look bad because of how open and honest the FO was with the public about the move.I'm not sure they are phonys, whether you agree with the decision or not.They were awfully candid about their reasoning IMO.

    • gil4, nicksaviking, brvama and 7 others like this

 

I'm curious how you think he's a phony?In part, I think the optics look bad because of how open and honest the FO was with the public about the move.I'm not sure they are phonys, whether you agree with the decision or not.They were awfully candid about their reasoning IMO.

It's not like many other teams haven't considered service time when making decisions, and players still sign with those teams.I think everyone, including Buxton, should look at the amount of his controlled service time that got burned while he played horribly.

    • Thrylos, Jerr, brvama and 6 others like this
Other teams have had other front offices embrace the “team” idea. This is part of what I’m getting at.

We all give the FO high marks in deciveness. Hell, I even bought into their “long term” perspective. But building the team idea, I have serios doubts.

Perhaps we could engage mientkiewicz or dozier on their thoughts?

Other teams have had other front offices embrace the “team” idea. This is part of what I’m getting at.

We all give the FO high marks in deciveness. Hell, I even bought into their “long term” perspective. But building the team idea, I have serios doubts.

Perhaps we could engage mientkiewicz or dozier on their thoughts?

why would Dougie Baseball or Dozier’s opinions matter?
    • Thrylos, jokin and jimmer like this
Dunno. Maybe cuz they’ve been actual baseball players longer than Falveys been... well anything. We all drank the cool aid cuz he wasn’t TR 2.0. So far Falveys getting his ass kicked by 1.0

Dunno. Maybe cuz they’ve been actual baseball players longer than Falveys been... well anything. We all drank the cool aid cuz he wasn’t TR 2.0. So far Falveys getting his ass kicked by 1.0

Gleeman wrote about that 7 years ago. Still pretty applicable https://mlb.nbcsport...er-mlb-players/

I’m not yet ready to be done with Falvine yet. It’s only been 2 years. I can’t blame you for your skepticism of them as leaders of baseball ops, but I can’t blame them on this move. It was Buxton and his injuries/ineffectiveness that created this situation. A repeat of last year, and he’d at least be up. How can 30 days at the end of a season be worthwhile at the expense of a year?

Buxton needs to hit and stay healthy. The rest will sort itself out.
    • Riverbrian, jokin, Blackjack and 2 others like this
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Winston Smith
Sep 03 2018 08:51 PM

 

Really? I think this is a huge overreaction. Buxton's a career .230 hitter who can't hit an MLB curveball. And the FO ain't gonna play him because he can't put the bat on the ball.

 

The Twins are saying they'll play a guy based on results, not hype.

Have you ever checked Fields results?

    • KirbyDome89 likes this

 

This is horrible optics for the FO, no other way to put it. If I’m a free agent, I want no part of coming here. More importantly, if I’m a prospect, I’m walking on eggshells.

I respect the Twins Daily’s writers quite a bit, but all but one or two of you actually supported your grading with reasoning. Even the incompletes seemed to be copping out a bit.

Is anyone else concerned that Falvey is a flat out phony that most likely doesn’t know a damn thing about baseball? Scary times for this Twins fan.

 

I don't think anyone does (or should) think that final paragraph. Just because we disagree with a decision he and Thad Levine make doesn't mean they aren't doing what they feel is in the best long-term interests of the organization. 

 

While I think this situation is bad, it doesn't mean they don't know what they're doing or aren't leading the organization in the right direction. 

 

 

    • Blake, Riverbrian, jokin and 2 others like this

I agree with the front office on this one.Buxton has not earned a call up at this point.With the injuries and lack of results, starting the off season training for him is the right call.Let him go to Florida or Georgia and work on things and get healthy.Yes, he hit well later, but the remainder of the year was a disaster.Not enough to call him up.Also, I think the extra year of service is worth the risk at this point.

 

If he develops, we can try to sign him to a long term deal.If he won't sign because of this, then we QO him and take the draft pick and move on or trade him while his value is high.At this point, his value is so low that if we tried to trade him, we would get very little back.I think it's a good, long-term, team decision.Nothing wrong with that.

    • Jerr and Riverbrian like this
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nicksaviking
Sep 04 2018 07:23 AM

I don't mind the service time manipulation, this year is lost. I'm also impressed with the forthcoming nature that Lavine showed when discussing the situation; typically this would all be veiled and the statements would end with a wink wink.

 

But I am concerned that the front office appears to have greatly miscalculated the temperature of the clubhouse. It doesn't sound good right now. I doubt this will have any impact on free agents coming here but I'm not sure that it's going to make signing current players to extensions any easier.

 

    • Jerr, Riverbrian and TheLeviathan like this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Sep 04 2018 07:34 AM
I’m about a quarter or third of the way through the podcast so far. Good point about TwinsFest. Isn’t there also some all employee banquet before that that players are required to attend? By all accounts Buxton feels angry and humiliated right now and I can empathize with that.

I have no problem with fans expressing their dislike of the front office at this point. I wouldn’t call them phony but to each their own. Many of us have been baseball fans longer than they have been alive! They have a lot to learn about people still.
    • Sconnie likes this

The impact of free agents coming here? Money usually wins out. Tehre are only so many jobs that pay x-amount of dollars. Sometimes you overpay. But, if you want a quality stopper, often the combination of money with a successful team will win out.

 

As the Twins try and sign free agents next year, I would be more troubled that most all of their free agent signings were for trade bait. What makes this a positive at that someone could get traded to a more competitive team that didn't seem like in the hunt in the of-season,But you also fear that o-=ffield management and the players that surround you might keep your stats and future earning power at a lull.

 

Remember, Perkins was once removed from the 40-man. He stayed and did well. Sure, Buxton's agent is mad because it has delayed a bigger payday. But so many factors enter into that big payday. Most important, actual production. How many players make their start at age 22, or 24, or 24-26. There are the special players, and we pretty much thought Buxton was one (as was Aaron Hicks). But a player needs to be more worried about NOT getting thru the arbitration years without raises (which means you bounce around to teams thinking you have potential). 

 

What is interesting in the long line of centerfielders the Twins have run thru since the leave of Hunter. Span, Gomez, Revere, Hicks. Will Buxton be added to the mix? Will that be his carer cycle? Great glove for a few years. Maybe an okay hitter, with a spurt at some point that gets him a bigger-than-the-norm contract>

 

Right now, he has to worry about getting his head and body together to reclaim an outfieldjob in 2019.

 

    • Riverbrian and TheLeviathan like this
It's possible to 'make amends' with a player they manipulated their service time... I mean, Glen Perkins spent his career with the Twins. It's going to take a lot of money to resurrect the relationship.

If not, they gained that year of control for another team to use when they trade him.
    • Riverbrian likes this
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RatherBeGolfing
Sep 04 2018 09:26 AM

 

Dunno. Maybe cuz they’ve been actual baseball players longer than Falveys been... well anything. We all drank the cool aid cuz he wasn’t TR 2.0. So far Falveys getting his ass kicked by 1.0

 

But what does their opinion mean in front office decision? Does someone who played in the big leagues automatically become qualified to be in the front office?

 

Trust me, Falvine have a lot to prove still and the jury is very much out with their leadership, I agree on that but your example was lacking.

 

    • Sconnie likes this

 

It's possible to 'make amends' with a player they manipulated their service time... I mean, Glen Perkins spent his career with the Twins. It's going to take a lot of money to resurrect the relationship.

Worth remembering that Perkins' service time issue was only the difference between "Super-2" arbitration status and not being arbitration eligible. So it was entirely short-term cash, with no extra year of control involved. Maybe a little easier to patch over, or even to quickly forgive/forget?

 

Also, Perkins pitched 96 innings that year, so he was way ahead of Buxton's opportunities this year. Perkins' specific complaint was that they activated him from the DL and optioned him in September 2009, when he felt like he may not have been fully healthy (in which case he should have stayed on the DL and continued collecting service time). Once he had his second medical opinion, and his grievance was settled, it could have been water under the bridge.

 

By comparison, Buxton's probably feeling a bit misled from when the front office publicly said his bat needed to warm up before they would recall him. Especially when the option was based on relatively few healthy 2018 PAs to begin with. And the practical results of this decision -- delaying his free agency -- are going to linger for awhile.

    • Riverbrian and Vanimal46 like this

Worth remembering that Perkins' service time issue was only the difference between "Super-2" arbitration status and not being arbitration eligible. So it was entirely short-term cash, with no extra year of control involved. Maybe a little easier to patch over, or even to quickly forgive/forget?

Also, Perkins pitched 96 innings that year, so he was way ahead of Buxton's opportunities this year. Perkins' specific complaint was that they activated him from the DL and optioned him in September 2009, when he felt like he may not have been fully healthy (in which case he should have stayed on the DL and continued collecting service time). Once he had his second medical opinion, and his grievance was settled, it could have been water under the bridge.

By comparison, Buxton's probably feeling a bit misled from when the front office publicly said his bat needed to warm up before they would recall him. Especially when the option was based on relatively few healthy 2018 PAs to begin with. And the practical results of this decision -- delaying his free agency -- are going to linger for awhile.


Ah, thanks for clearing up the situations. I forgot what Perk's grievance was about exactly.

I also don't fault Buxton for feeling misled this season. Every decision the FO made with him was systematically calculated to keep his service time below 3 years.

It will take a sign of good faith (maybe raising his salary for 2019?) To get the relationship back on track. I doubt we'll see Buxton at any Twins related events over the offseason.

 

I also don't fault Buxton for feeling misled this season. Every decision the FO made with him was systematically calculated to keep his service time below 3 years.

I don't know about that. Maybe they wanted to option him a few weeks into the season, when he went on the DL with migraines instead? I don't think they rushed him back from the broken toe for service time reasons -- it was probably bad reasons, but not related to service time.

 

When they finally optioned him on July 2nd, perhaps they did have some intent to recall him once his bat warmed up, and the wrist thing changed their mind. They could have communicated that better before Sep. 1st, though -- he injured his wrist on July 12, and then again on July 30. There was plenty of time for them to lower (or remove) expectations for a 2018 return, publicly and privately.

 

 

It will take a sign of good faith (maybe raising his salary for 2019?) To get the relationship back on track. I doubt we'll see Buxton at any Twins related events over the offseason.

Buxton is arbitration eligible this offseason, so they will exchange figures. Maybe the Twins should just agree to whatever Buxton's side submits (within reason)?

 

I don't know about Twinsfest, but hopefully it doesn't impact Buxton's work over the offseason. While I would hope that Buxton wouldn't let that happen, it's also up to the front office to read their players well enough to avoid those outcomes where possible. (To their credit, they seemed to handle Sano well in June.)

    • Riverbrian likes this
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Jeremy Nygaard
Sep 04 2018 05:59 PM

Both Liriano (2008) and Perkins (2009) had service time issues with the organization. But both were about keeping them from Super 2 status, neither of them had free agency pushed away.

 

I also think both of them had grieve-able cases. Neither got to that point. Personally, I think Buxton has the best argument out of any. 

 

The only players who didn't get the addition besides Buxton were Thorpe and Romero (two pitchers who have hit their innings limit) and Granite (who is out for the year). Any argument about not enough playing time is ridiculous. 

 

There's also no standard to "deserving" it when literally everyone else who was able got the call. 

    • Carole Keller, Blake, Rigby and 2 others like this

Have you ever checked Fields results?

I don't know what side of the Buxton argument I'm on but I haven't seen anyone happy that Field is up so I'm not sure I get bringing him up. No one wants Field here no matter how they feel about the Buxton situation.

Well at least no one but the front office wants Field here, but you get the point.

Wasn't Buxton offered an extension last off season? If I remember correctly he turned in down. He made a business decision. Now the Twins are making a business decision. The real problem here is the labor agreement.It is keeping Buxton, Vlad Jr, Eloy Jimenez out of baseball right now. As a baseball fan - I hate that

 

The Twins and their young players should figure out fair extension and quit the service time shuffle

 

    • Intramural Legend and mngopherguy like this
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mngopherguy
Sep 04 2018 10:15 PM

I have zero issue with the Twins not bringing up Buxton and he's probably my favorite player on the team. I do have an issue with how he was told and that this wasn't the first time they've had others deliver the news.That is a bit of a concern.  

 

    • Carole Keller, Dakota Diver and Doctor Wu like this

 

I also don't fault Buxton for feeling misled this season. Every decision the FO made with him was systematically calculated to keep his service time below 3 years.

 

Did they systematically injure him multiple times over?

    • ashburyjohn, TheLeviathan and jimmer like this

Did they systematically injure him multiple times over?


Nope. If service time wasn't on their mind this season they would have let him finish the last 6 days of his rehab instead of optioning him outright to AAA.

They also would have called him up now if service time wasn't a factor since they called up literally everyone else that played out in the field for them at some point in the season.

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