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Letting Byron Buxton Walk Will Haunt


24 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

That deal was genius for the team. It kept their present value costs very low, and they might not have been able to sign the guys they did had they signed him to a traditional deal. I've read several long posts about how great it really was.

Yeah, I agree it wasn't a good example, but there are good examples of contracts that hamstrung a team.  Dexter Fowler, Albert Pujols, etc.  It can have a demonstrably bad outcome for your team to sign someone who takes a big chunk of your budget and adds nothing.

Which is why it's absolute nonsense for some in these threads to suggest 150M guaranteed is the low end of what he'd be offered.  No one wants to get Pujols'd.  Byron and his agent seem to understand this, which is why we seem to be in a battle of 80M vs. 110M with at least one side expressing optimism we can get a deal done.  

The Twins are in the ballpark of a fair offer, let's hope they are willing to bridge the gap, even if the risk is high.

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3 minutes ago, TheLeviathan said:

Yeah, I agree it wasn't a good example, but there are good examples of contracts that hamstrung a team.  Dexter Fowler, Albert Pujols, etc.  It can have a demonstrably bad outcome for your team to sign someone who takes a big chunk of your budget and adds nothing.

Which is why it's absolute nonsense for some in these threads to suggest 150M guaranteed is the low end of what he'd be offered.  No one wants to get Pujols'd.  Byron and his agent seem to understand this, which is why we seem to be in a battle of 80M vs. 110M with at least one side expressing optimism we can get a deal done.  

The Twins are in the ballpark of a fair offer, let's hope they are willing to bridge the gap, even if the risk is high.

Agreed for sure......

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Assuming Buxton played 15 seasons, which is as long as Joe Mauer, then he’s already played half of his career when this season is over.  And what has he accomplished in that time frame?

He has played in 459 out of a possible 1,134 games, or approximately 40%.  This one stat alone should end any of this talk about every other team just throwing out $100+ million contracts at Buxton when he becomes a free agent.  But because we are Minnesota sports fans we all live in a delusional bubble where we use terms like “one in a lifetime talent” and “game changing” and “top shelf elite MLB player”.  So lets look at those 459 games that he’s actually played in:

.247 Batting Average

.289 On Base %

.453 Slugging %

.751 OPS%

367 HITS (88 2B, 17 3B, 61 HR)

95 BBs & 469 Ks

67 SBs

14.7 WAR

If you were to average numbers like this out over a 162 game season it’s even more alarming;

  AVG – R – H – RBI      ( 2Bs – 3Bs – HRs – SBs – BBs – Ks)

,247 – 80 – 130 – 68    (32 – 7 – 22 – 24 – 34 – 166)

WAR – 2.1

Everyone keeps saying how Buxton would be this and Buxton would be that if only he had been healthy.  But to say this conveniently sweeps his actual performance when he was health under the rug.  When he was at 100% he still wasn’t very good.  And take away his fielding ability during the games he did play and you have a guy who very likely wouldn’t even be on an MLB roster most of that time. 

It’s more than safe to say that we’ve seen everything Buxton has to offer in the exact same way we can say that we’ve seen all Sano has to offer.  There might be flashes of quality play, but they are just too few and too far between and will never be the norm for either player. 

Are you willing to have the “cash strapped” “small market” twins commit $15-$20 million a year to someone who, at best, once played in 140 games, but then never more than 92 in any other season?  And what about 2017 when he played in 140 games?  A .253 average and a slash of .314/.413/.728 along with 150 Ks against 38 BBs.  Yes he won the Platinum Glove and stole 29 bases and hit 16 HRs but, again, is that worth $20 million even if he were able to replicate even those minimal numbers?

Oh, and don’t forget the Playoff Numbers he has produced.  In 2017 he was 0-2 and left the game early.  In 2019 he didn’t play at all.  And in 2020 he only started Game One and went 1-4 and struck out 3 times and was injured and didn’t start Game Two but did come in as a pinch runner and promptly got picked off in the bottom of the 8th inning with the Twins down by one run. 

The numbers just don’t lie, Buxton is a middle ground potential journeyman “have glove will travel” player.  It would be great if would could keep him around 3/$35 with salaries at $8m, $10m, and $12m with a buyout of $5m and 2-3 option years at $14m, $15, and $16m which he would have earned if he stayed healthy.  This ends up at a range of 5/$60m or 6/$75.  That seems much more reasonable.

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4 minutes ago, KnoblauchWasFramed said:

Assuming Buxton played 15 seasons, which is as long as Joe Mauer, then he’s already played half of his career when this season is over.  And what has he accomplished in that time frame?

Welcome to the site!

No one thinks Buxton was a superstar in the first several years of his career -- he was downright terrible at times. But when he's been on the field (admittedly a big qualifier), he's played like one the past 3 years (8.0 bWAR, 6.6 fWAR in 540 PA).

And a guy at his age, with that recent performance record -- even accompanied by injuries -- is not going to sign for 3/35 plus team options. It would be great for us if he did, but there's no evidence to suggest that is the market rate for such a player.

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41 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

If Dan Hayes and his sources are to be believed you've overshot what Buxton is willing to take in guaranteed money. Hayes says Buxton (his agents) and the Twins are on the same page with a base 7/80 deal. It's the top end of his incentives that are the holdup right now. Maybe Hayes' sources are wrong, but with the way Buxton is talking it sure sounds like they're relatively close and he isn't expecting 100M guaranteed. 

Well that is even better only 80 guaranteed for 7 years, way less than I was thinking, But IMO if they can't come together on incentives, it because Buxton is asking for very low incentives with big paybacks, I would think if he is willing to sign for his prime years of 28-35, he is looking for the possibility to double that 80 amount, for something silly like if he plays 100 games in one of the first 2 or 3 years it guarantees the last years of the contract, but obviously this is just me speculating. I can't imagine if they are only 10-20 million a part on incentives over 7 years why the Twins just wouldn't cover that and call it a day. Me personally I would rather give him more per year for less years than spreading it out over more years, but again just opinion.

 

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36 minutes ago, KnoblauchWasFramed said:

n is a middle ground potential journeyman “have glove will travel” player.  It would be great if would could keep him around 3/$35 with salaries at $8m, $10m, and $12m with a buyout of $5m and 2-3 option years at $14m, $15, and $16m which he would have earned if he stayed healthy.  This ends up at a range of 5/$60m or 6/$75.  That seems much more reasonable.

I appreciate the sobering reality you provided on Buxton.  I think it's too pessimistic, but a lot of folks here at TD also are way too far off the deep end the other way.  If you read a lot of these comments you'd think they've built churches to Buxton and his baseball career.  So if nothing else, you're trying to balance the boat and I appreciate that.

But contracts are not just given based on what a player has done, but the potential reward they provide as well.  There is very clear risk to Buxton as you lay out, but there is obviously so much reward too.  The Twins can't offer 3/35, it's not enough guarantees.  If they cut the term down that far, they have to bump the AAV or it isn't worth it for Buck.  By adding more years they've been able to cut down on the AAV, which I think is the better way to go in balancing this risk vs. reward.

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