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A Letter to the Twins Front Office and to Buxton's Agent


terrydactyls

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Here is my theoretical letter to the Twins ownership and to the agent for Byron Buxton concerning to current negotiations to extend Buxton’s contract.

A Letter to Falvey/Levine/Pohlad and B.B. Abbott

Dear Sirs:

It is my understanding that all of you are in basic agreement concerning the base salary for an extension for Byron Buxton and that the holdup is the incentives.  Because your negotiations are done in private (as they should be), I have no idea what the concerns of each side might be.  Here are my suggestions.

Make the base salary $12M per year beginning in 2022 and extending for an additional seven years for a total base contract of 8/$96M.  The incentive plan should be have a base with achievable goals and extending to difficult to reach goals with significant rewards for attaining them.  Below is a table showing some possible goals and bonuses attached to each goal.  The minimum amount of bonus that can be earned would be $8M and is based on Buxton having an above league average season for an outfielder.  The maximum attainable bonus would be $21.5M but would mean that Buxton would be the best player in baseball.  But the amount of the bonus would be offset partially by increased revenues caused by every baseball fan in America wanting to see Buxton play in person.

Games 100 120 130 140 150 160        
Bonus $1.0M $1.25M $1.5M $1.75M $2.0M $2.5M        
Hits 140 160 180 200 220 240        
Bonus $1.0M $1.25M $1.5M $1.75M $2.0M $2.5M        
Home Runs 20 25 30 35 40 45        
Bonus $1.0M $1.25M $1.5M $1.75M $2.0M $2.5M        
Stolen Bases 20 25 30 35 40 45        
Bonus $1.0M $1.25M $1.5M $1.75M $2.0M $2.5M        
MVP Voting 10th 9th 8th 7th 6th 5th 4th 3rd 2nd 1st
Bonus $1.0M $1.25M $1.5M $1.75M $2.0M $2.5M $3.0M $3.5M $4.0M $5.0M
Gold Glove Voting 3rd 2nd 1st              
Bonus $1.5M $3.0M $4.5M              
Platinum Glove Voting 1st                  
Bonus $2.0M                  
 

I understand that this commitment would be a significant financial investment but only if Buxton provides the level of performance that should be rewarded.  If you have any questions, I can be reached through Twins Daily.

 

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Thank you Terry for the concern & effort that you put into it. It's a shame that CBA has disallowed these bonuses. These type of negotiations should be between player & owner not dictated by CBA.

Anyway you know that every time that Buxton is on the field, he gives 100%, MVP level performance. So his # of games should reflect this, compensating him in this way. Awarding him $21.5M for putting in a full season is reasonable even if he doesn't get the hardware.

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Well thought out Terry.  Maybe if this gets "changed' in the new CBA this would be possible.  But what you've laid out makes a lot of sense.  If Buxton PLAYS, He's GOOD.  If he PLAYS, Pay Him.

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10 minutes ago, TopGunn#22 said:

Well thought out Terry.  Maybe if this gets "changed' in the new CBA this would be possible.  But what you've laid out makes a lot of sense.  If Buxton PLAYS, He's GOOD.  If he PLAYS, Pay Him.

Do you think there is even a remote chance the Players Union would ever allow pay based on performance?  They are all about guaranteed pay.  

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I think it was Brock who brought up the possibility that it's not incentives per se that are the hangup, but escalators.  If Buxton's camp is insistent that achieving one level of incentives in a given year locks in that level for all future years in the contract, I could see that the distance between the two sides is greater than we understand.

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13 minutes ago, Major League Ready said:

Do you think there is even a remote chance the Players Union would ever allow pay based on performance?  They are all about guaranteed pay.  

The owners are all about below-market salaries for the first several years of a major league career.   Two sides of a coin.

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21 minutes ago, ashbury said:

The owners are all about below-market salaries for the first several years of a major league career.   Two sides of a coin.

So how do you reduce the years of control significantly without absolutely destroying the ability of small market teams to compete which in turn will hurt the game's popularity and reduce the overall revenue.  Therefore, reducing the amount of revenue available to pay players.  The average fans view of these dynamics does not account for the owners desire to what's best for the game.  The players are much more focused on getting theirs right now.

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Appreciate the hard work done here, but as stated, the incentives here are realistic based on what is in place.

I honestly don't recall if it was ever reported what the initial guaranteed AAV. But it was in the double digit category for sure. The issue was the incentives, obviously not reported, that was the issue. They either weren't enough, OR, were too hard to achieve.

That's lead to speculation that the best option is to offer $15-17M AAV and have GP or PA or AB be the benchmark for incentives. As far as I know, incentives/bonuses can also be in play for All Star appearances, Gold Gloves, MVP, etc. He could earn anywhere from $25-30M. 

For a player of Buxton's ability and potential, he could easily achieve those kind of $ value IF he's just on the field. 

IF he's healthy enough to earn his incentives, NOBODY, including the Twins and their ownership, would object to paying that kind of money because he's paving the way to an MVP season and the team should be following him toward a playoff type season.

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On 11/14/2021 at 5:23 PM, ashbury said:

I think it was Brock who brought up the possibility that it's not incentives per se that are the hangup, but escalators.  If Buxton's camp is insistent that achieving one level of incentives in a given year locks in that level for all future years in the contract, I could see that the distance between the two sides is greater than we understand.

Well… that's ridiculous.  "Locking in" defeats the whole purpose of "incentives."
If that is what Byron's Agents are insisting upon, then trade Buxton immediately.

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1 hour ago, Einheri said:

Well… that's ridiculous.  "Locking in" defeats the whole purpose of "incentives."
If that is what Byron's Agents are insisting upon, then trade Buxton immediately.

I don't see why it's ridiculous.  It serves as a compromise between fully-guaranteed pay, and heavily incentivized pay-bumps each year.

If the Twins' opening argument was, "you haven't had more than 511 PA in a season, how can we guarantee a contract for a whole bunch of years?", escalators would be a response saying "okay, if he plays (say) 150 games in a season, will that be enough to ease your worries?"

Escalators aren't as team-friendly as incentives, but they still represent a form of risk-sharing rather than the team bear all the risk.

Every multi-year player contract, no matter the track record on health, carries significant risk.

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You can give incentives for hardware as well as games played.

Give Buxton incentives for games played. Try having them partially vest after he reaches 140 games one year. Have them fully vest if he reaches that threshold the next year. 

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1 hour ago, ashbury said:

I don't see why it's ridiculous.  It serves as a compromise between fully-guaranteed pay, and heavily incentivized pay-bumps each year.

If the Twins' opening argument was, "you haven't had more than 511 PA in a season, how can we guarantee a contract for a whole bunch of years?", escalators would be a response saying "okay, if he plays (say) 150 games in a season, will that be enough to ease your worries?"

Escalators aren't as team-friendly as incentives, but they still represent a form of risk-sharing rather than the team bear all the risk.

Every multi-year player contract, no matter the track record on health, carries significant risk.

Well… it gets down to how steep and soon the bonus escalates.

Sharp-inclining escalators seem more like buying shares in a stock that did really well last year then blindly assuming it will repeat at the same or better level of performance next year and beyond.  I'd hate to base any sizable long-range contract bonus upon something that happens in the first year of said contract, especially if pre-contract, the player had a significant history of injuries.  But, if it's a more of an exponential growth, I could get onboard.

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6 hours ago, Einheri said:

Well… that's ridiculous.  "Locking in" defeats the whole purpose of "incentives."
If that is what Byron's Agents are insisting upon, then trade Buxton immediately.

Exactly,  If you "lock in" incentive payments and Buxton and has a very good year in 2022, he would be guaranteed a huge contract based solely on having one good year.  There would be no incentive left after that.

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Buxton has had 2 or 3 excellent months out of a part time 7 year major league career. Some people say he's an MVP candidate, or one of the best players in baseball.  Really?  Based on what?  I hope he stays.  I love him as a Twin but he needs to prove himself in a full season.  He is a lifetime .248 hitter, a great center fielder, and the type of player we need.  I would tell him prove it to us this year and we can talk at or near end of next season.  Let him have a salary drive.  Show us what you have over the course of a whole season.  By overpaying Buxton and/ or others, where will come the money for much needed pitching?

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4 hours ago, Whitey333 said:

overpaying Buxton

Major league ballplayers who are any good are underpaid for the first 4 years or so, compared to the value they bring to the team.  We're going to veer off into a discussion of the entire economics of the game, terminating probably with "they could cut ticket prices if not for....", and I'm checking out of this thread in advance of that dead end.

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If Buxton isn't re-signed by trade deadline, lets say...and he is having a super season to that point....what do the frugal twins do then? Do they think they could still get true value to trade him mid-season? No. Won't happen. If he has a crap season. then what? What would they get in trade? There are no real answers to any of this. So, you pay the guy if you think he is valuable to the team winning the division etc.  Roll the dice, and move on. The more they over-analyze, the less likely anything good will come of it.

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