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What the Hell Are the Twins Doing with Byron Buxton?


Nick Nelson
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Buxton needs to be signed, he is the face of the organization. I respect that the Twins have to protect themselves because of Buxton's injury history, but it sounds like Bux understands that as well. Get creative and if Buxton stays healthy and hits like he did down the stretch, he deserves $30m per year. If he pulls up lame again, cap the damages at $15m. 

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3 minutes ago, HrbieFan said:

Doggie isn't as connected as he wants people to believe. The FO might not have went 7 years, but I have a hard time believing they wouldn't go $18m for a solid #2 on a back loaded contract. 

Well, after years of negotiating with the Twins, he signed in Toronto very quickly at a very affordable price. I agree the length of the deal is probably a factor. But jeez.  

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I think the writing was on the wall when Berrios was traded.  If Berrios wasn't part of the Twins next winning team, then Buxton probably wasn't either.

Now that Jose has extended with Toronto, it's pretty clear that he wasn't planning to test free agency like we were led to believe.  Either the Twins had no intention of signing him, or Berrios wanted out, or both.  I think we're in the same situation with Buxton now.

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I too blame the FO. Will they still be navigating their plan when more free agents sign before Dec. 1? Eduardo Rodriguez would be a good fit in a Twin's rotation at the price he signed for. Another option gone. Being a season ticket holder I am getting increasingly disgusted with the FO performance. Come on guys - people were hired to run the FO who were supposedly the young bright minds in baseball. Your performance stinks in your signings, your trade results and 40 man roster management. Now you want to low ball the man almost every Twin's fan comes to see. Give Buxton all the incentives he wants - my experience with incentives is that no one reaches all of their incentives but if they come close it has been a great year. Dear Jim if you don't sign Buxton you can have my tickets back and I hope other Twin's fans do the same. And I thought Calvin Griffin was tight.

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I'm also a long time Twins fan.  I still think this FO is messed up.  No direction at all, at least not one portrayed to the fans.  Pohlads had said in a radio interview before the trading deadline that there was enough money to pay Berrios and Buxton.  Two weeks later Berrios is gone and Buxton could be next.  I hope they sign Buxton. But how can people call him a generational player, or MVP player when he rarely plays?  How can you extend the few times he plays and extend those over a 162 game schedule?  He needs to stay on the field and produce.  It's sad because it would have been interesting to see what could have been had he played full seasons.  He is a career .248 average over 7 injury filled seasons.  I hope they can keep him with some sense of a reasonable salary.

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I know that I am in the minority on this, but I believe we have to trade him.  My sole reasoning is I with the haul we would get for him, assuming it would be good, plus the pieces we added from the last trade deadline would give us a better chance at a world series in 5 years lets say versus keeping Buxton.  If we re-sign him, how long before we are contenders with him on the team?  Not next year, maybe the year after at the earliest?  That's a stretch with the White Sox young talented core plus the Tigers are primed to make a run soon as well.  IF we were contending in the next 2-3 years I would say signing him is a must, but we are not.  So I say trade him.  We will have some rough years for sure but I think it sets us up better in 5 years to win a world series versus keeping him on the team.

I'll head for cover as I am sure I will be roasted for this.

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I always love your articles Nick.  You bring up great points.  I have very little faith in this FO.  Pohlads should stay out of these negotiations publicly.  He hired people to run the baseball team. Let them run it.  If you don't like the job they are doing, get rid of them.  I've been saying this for months.  The Twins seem to have no sense of direction at all.  There thing is to wait until everyone else signs free agents then we will offer left over bargain basement pitchers a contract and hope it works.  As always Nick, a great article!

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12 hours ago, Doctor Gast said:

Thank you Nick, I'm very confused also especially now with the Berrios extension.  It was presented that Berrios was unreasonable and that he wanted to become a free agent and get the big bucks, so I wasn't surprised when he got traded. But when the Twins played Toronto, I had the impression that Berrios wanted to be back together with his old team mates and that he really didn't want to leave MN.

What surprised me was that Berrios took Toronto's 1st offer and didn't really want to hold out for FA. My take on this is that this FO is low balling in their negotiating player's extensions. When Berrios finally got a reasonable offer he took it. I feel that they're doing the same thing with Buxton. The fans want Buxton and I believe, like Berrios, Buxton and even more so wants to stay with his teammates. I feel (and I hope I'm wrong) that this FO is lying to us and have been jerking around and low balling their players. This is degrading and makes me angry. Suggestions of base salary with incentives has been around for awhile why haven't they come up with a reasonable offer? They seem like intelligent people. What is the alternative to signing him, we won't get anything in trade, other teams will out low ball them. FO quit playing around before it's too late, finally show confidence in Buxton and finally give him a reasonable offer. Forgive me that I'm coming across harsh but I'm very frustrated right now.

I have seen many things that this FO have done wrong and spoken about it this last year and many fans have countered me. I believe that many will finally wake up and there'll be a revolt but it could be too late.

When Berrios signed a reasonable extension with Toronto this week, it reminded me of  my college years when our society was starting to question our involvement in Vietnam. There was a popular 1967 Vietnam War protest song, "For What it's Worth" by Buffalo Springfield, which goes: "Something's happenin' here, What it is ain't exactly clear."  I used to be a big Falvine supporter.. But  for me,, losing Berrios in this manner, and not having Buxton signed, has put a huge damper on my enthusiasm for the Twins current FO and ownership. this week. I am questioning whether I want to invest my time and  emotional energy supporting a team that will not pay it's players when they become really good and experienced, and then we have to watch them succeed for other teams. This team building model is not one that I like. There must be a better way.

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46 minutes ago, prouster said:

Well, after years of negotiating with the Twins, he signed in Toronto very quickly at a very affordable price. I agree the length of the deal is probably a factor. But jeez.  

I'm starting to think that, and I know as regular people we all sit around and wish we could all be baseball players, that they have "the life" for young dudes in their 20's and 30's.  But I'm starting to maybe think that the work environment in Minnesota just isn't good??  I mean if these home grown guys want out and they sign right away with other teams what does that say??  I mean we were all led to believe that Berrios was hell bent on going through free agency.  That might have only been the case had he stayed in Minnesota??  Maybe Toronto has a better work environment and he decided to sign for a reasonable amount?  I mean we all saw what they did to Buxton with the service time crap, im sure everyone else has seen this stuff too.

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First, we don't know the status of negotiations with Buxton.  For all we know, they may be 99% done and waiting on X, Y and Z to sign on the dotted line.  But, I am getting concerned with the direction of the Twins.  Unfortunately, that is easier to do after not seeing them play last summer because of the bloody tv situation.  

When Falvey and Lavine were hired we all, well most of us, jumped on the bandwagon and cheered.  After all, it was new blood who would use all the new techniques available to take the Twins to the promised land.  Here we are what, six years later and there hasn't been a single playoff win prior to this past season which was a disaster.  Our top pitcher is gone and we are on the verge of seeing the most exciting player to play for the Twins since Puckett leave as well.  

The minor league system has been restocked.  I am as big a fan of the kids coming up as anyone.  Without our knowing, has this front office really been in the middle of a rebuild?  But for every Bailey Ober there are several Joe Benson's which has been confirmed by many of those top draft picks several years ago. So we don't know if they got the right players, players who will return the Twins to the playoffs in 2022 or more likely 2023.  If they do, that's a fantastic job.  But what if they don't?  What if these young pups that came in six years ago aren't as sharp as we all thought?  Could this front office be presiding over a failure that takes the Twins down?  I sure hope not, but it may be time to start asking that question.  More important, Jim Pohlad better have this discussion with the family when they all sit down for Thanksgiving next week.

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The easy answer is to simply watch the actions of Pohlad and the FO (especially the curent one, but past ones as well), not listen to the words.  If we simply do that, over the course of the last 2+ decades you will see an organization whose total focus is to maximize cash flow/profits.  If they stumble into winning along the way to profit maximization then that is a bonus.  This is the one thing the organization can lay claim to as their area of expertise - not free agent acquisition, not player development, not international signing, and not drafting new talent.  Maximizing profit/cashflow which is what this ownership has always wanted.

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14 hours ago, rv78 said:

I guess I am in the minority here. I don't see a trade of Buck as all that bad. He should bring one helluva return and when you consider the guy will be 28 years old, has played in the majors 7 years and has never played a full season once, why would you break the bank to keep someone like that? I realize looking back isn't the best way to evalaute a player but in Bucks case you can't ignore it either. Maybe the best way to spend that money is to give it to someone who can play 150+ games a year, year after year, even if he is slightly less spectacular defensively and almost as good offensively. With some really good shortstops available this year maybe the money would be better spent there. Give CF to a 1 or 2 year guy and if you've got SS covered for 4, 5 or 6 years let Royce Lewis or Austin Martin go to CF since they are questionable at SS anyway. 

All of this ^ I dont under stand how no one else is seeing it this way. Completely agree. 

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48 minutes ago, Twodogs said:

I'm starting to think that, and I know as regular people we all sit around and wish we could all be baseball players, that they have "the life" for young dudes in their 20's and 30's.  But I'm starting to maybe think that the work environment in Minnesota just isn't good??  I mean if these home grown guys want out and they sign right away with other teams what does that say??  I mean we were all led to believe that Berrios was hell bent on going through free agency.  That might have only been the case had he stayed in Minnesota??  Maybe Toronto has a better work environment and he decided to sign for a reasonable amount?  I mean we all saw what they did to Buxton with the service time crap, im sure everyone else has seen this stuff too.

Could be. I wonder if he just went back and forth with the Twins, saw they weren’t interested in even approaching a market rate contract, and assumed other teams operate the same way? Or maybe he didn’t anticipate being traded. Who knows. At the end of the day, I think Toronto’s front office outsmarted ours, even though I like the return they got for Berrios. 

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13 minutes ago, roger said:

First, we don't know the status of negotiations with Buxton.  For all we know, they may be 99% done and waiting on X, Y and Z to sign on the dotted line.  But, I am getting concerned with the direction of the Twins.  Unfortunately, that is easier to do after not seeing them play last summer because of the bloody tv situation.  

When Falvey and Lavine were hired we all, well most of us, jumped on the bandwagon and cheered.  After all, it was new blood who would use all the new techniques available to take the Twins to the promised land.  Here we are what, six years later and there hasn't been a single playoff win prior to this past season which was a disaster.  Our top pitcher is gone and we are on the verge of seeing the most exciting player to play for the Twins since Puckett leave as well.  

The minor league system has been restocked.  I am as big a fan of the kids coming up as anyone.  Without our knowing, has this front office really been in the middle of a rebuild?  But for every Bailey Ober there are several Joe Benson's which has been confirmed by many of those top draft picks several years ago. So we don't know if they got the right players, players who will return the Twins to the playoffs in 2022 or more likely 2023.  If they do, that's a fantastic job.  But what if they don't?  What if these young pups that came in six years ago aren't as sharp as we all thought?  Could this front office be presiding over a failure that takes the Twins down?  I sure hope not, but it may be time to start asking that question.  More important, Jim Pohlad better have this discussion with the family when they all sit down for Thanksgiving next week.

I’ve seen 6 years for Falvine a couple times in this thread. Falvey hire was announced October 2016. It’s been 5 years.

5 years is about the time it takes to develop a minor leaguer in a major leaguer.

We are seeing signs of a rebuild looming at a time when we should be seeing some of Falvine’s first draft class start to graduate.

In some ways this makes sense, and probably would have saw it sooner, if not for some lightning in a bottle.

im not happy about it. I don’t want to watch another rebuild, but if the rebuild can recover quickly instead of the perpetual incompetence that we watched for the last 7 years of Ryan and can really compete for a World Series in a couple years, I might be ok with it.

I get the vitriol in regards to the FO. I don’t really share in it. That might change though, I’m not sure how much patience I have…

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4 minutes ago, KFEY93 said:
14 hours ago, rv78 said:

I guess I am in the minority here. I don't see a trade of Buck as all that bad. He should bring one helluva return and when you consider the guy will be 28 years old, has played in the majors 7 years and has never played a full season once, why would you break the bank to keep someone like that? I realize looking back isn't the best way to evalaute a player but in Bucks case you can't ignore it either. Maybe the best way to spend that money is to give it to someone who can play 150+ games a year, year after year, even if he is slightly less spectacular defensively and almost as good offensively. With some really good shortstops available this year maybe the money would be better spent there. Give CF to a 1 or 2 year guy and if you've got SS covered for 4, 5 or 6 years let Royce Lewis or Austin Martin go to CF since they are questionable at SS anyway. 

Expand  

All of this ^ I dont under stand how no one else is seeing it this way. Completely agree. 

Well, here is an attempt at a short explanation. There is not a single prospect in baseball that has the combination of talents of Byron Buxton. He has a history of missing games though. Thus, the Twins will not return a single player from a trade of Byron who makes the Twins appreciably better now or in the future because teams will not risk sending their talent for an expensive one year oft-injured player. Byron Buxton has much more value to the Twins than to another team because without him the rebuild begins. Most Twins fans do not wish to watch or listen to a team that spends the next five years losing 90-120 games. Buxton might return a Trevor Larnach or Joe Ryan type player, but not multiples of those. These players are decent but will never reach the heights of Buxton. If you just want to rebuild, every player on the team making more than $1 million goes and in 5-7 years the Twins may or may not have a good team. Check on Baltimore. Your position is not irrational or uncommon, but those of us who watch most or nearly all of the Twins games have watched many dozens of prospects fail (Willie Banks, Joe Benson) and recognize the value of what is in hand. I hope you can see the keep Buxton side of an argument, even if you still don't believe in him.

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7 minutes ago, Sconnie said:

I’ve seen 6 years for Falvine a couple times in this thread. Falvey hire was announced October 2016. It’s been 5 years.

5 years is about the time it takes to develop a minor leaguer in a major leaguer.

We are seeing signs of a rebuild looming at a time when we should be seeing some of Falvine’s first draft class start to graduate.

In some ways this makes sense, and probably would have saw it sooner, if not for some lightning in a bottle.

im not happy about it. I don’t want to watch another rebuild, but if the rebuild can recover quickly instead of the perpetual incompetence that we watched for the last 7 years of Ryan and can really compete for a World Series in a couple years, I might be ok with it.

I get the vitriol in regards to the FO. I don’t really share in it. That might change though, I’m not sure how much patience I have…

Sorry about the six years, Sconnie.  Guess I saw it a lot over the past couple days and went with it.  Also sorry that you took my post as containing 'vitriol' in regards to the FO.  Wasn't my intent.  My intent was merely to wonder whether it is time that we start asking the question if these guys are the saviors we thought?  To me, that isn't bad mouthing them.  Rather thinking it is time to start wondering, what if?

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5 minutes ago, roger said:

Sorry about the six years, Sconnie.  Guess I saw it a lot over the past couple days and went with it.  Also sorry that you took my post as containing 'vitriol' in regards to the FO.  Wasn't my intent.  My intent was merely to wonder whether it is time that we start asking the question if these guys are the saviors we thought?  To me, that isn't bad mouthing them.  Rather thinking it is time to start wondering, what if?

Sorry, the vitriol part wasn’t you specifically, as much as the thread in general.

im with you 100% on the “what if Falvine aren’t the saviors we thought them to be”. I’m starting to wonder that myself

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I think I might be too jaded as a MN sports fan. My gut tells me that what ever happens, it wont work out for the Twins. Buxton signs, and he chronically injured with minimal impact for the Twins and people complain about the wasted money. He's traded, the return players dont work out and Buxton becomes an perennial MVP candidate, WS champ and HOFer for another team. God forbid, let him walk, and hes this FO's David Ortiz. 

Sad The Office GIF

 

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29 minutes ago, tony&rodney said:

I hope you can see the keep Buxton side of an argument, even if you still don't believe in him.

Excellent response. The Twins will never see another player with the raw potential and potential impact of Byron Buxton. Never. Byron Buxton isn't a cog - he's a game-changing HOF-caliber player.

And the chance to sign him for his prime years in a deal that certainly wouldn't break the bank? What a gift! Yes, there's risk. Injury history has been nothing short of tragic. Could all add up and knock him out of the game. Or, he could be resilient as heck, tough as nails, and just on the cusp of making his mark permanently on the game.

Who on Earth wouldn't want to invest in that?? Since the 2000s began, teams like the Twins NEVER get a chance at having these kinds of players in their prime. This is the textbook definition of moderate risk and high reward ceiling, As some poster noted, you won't get anything better for him in trade than a Larnach or maybe a Martin. Guys we already have. Guys who might play MLB well, but guys you'll never tell your kids about years after they're gone.

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If they trade Buxton, they should trade Sano, Kepler, Polanco, and Garver, that way they will have gotten rid of everybody from the old front office, and basically everybody from the last 3 playoff runs, and try to win with their guys. Give them next year and 2023 to prove their worth.

The great thing (for them) is there will be no expectations on them and very few fans watching the games.

 

On a different note, would you trade the Blue Jays Martin and SWR for Berrios and his contract? I would

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55 minutes ago, tony&rodney said:

Well, here is an attempt at a short explanation. There is not a single prospect in baseball that has the combination of talents of Byron Buxton. He has a history of missing games though. Thus, the Twins will not return a single player from a trade of Byron who makes the Twins appreciably better now or in the future because teams will not risk sending their talent for an expensive one year oft-injured player. Byron Buxton has much more value to the Twins than to another team because without him the rebuild begins. Most Twins fans do not wish to watch or listen to a team that spends the next five years losing 90-120 games. Buxton might return a Trevor Larnach or Joe Ryan type player, but not multiples of those. These players are decent but will never reach the heights of Buxton. If you just want to rebuild, every player on the team making more than $1 million goes and in 5-7 years the Twins may or may not have a good team. Check on Baltimore. Your position is not irrational or uncommon, but those of us who watch most or nearly all of the Twins games have watched many dozens of prospects fail (Willie Banks, Joe Benson) and recognize the value of what is in hand. I hope you can see the keep Buxton side of an argument, even if you still don't believe in him.

Buxton and Berrios are two sides of the same coin. For Berrios, he's been one of the most durable starting pitchers in baseball - how long before the luck runs out? Maybe he stays that way and retires at 45 with never having had a major injury. Does that seem likely? 

For Buxton, he's been the most injury plagued player I've ever watched that tantalized with so much potential. Usually people who get that injured wash out before they ever get to the peak. Will Buxton stay injury plagued?

With both, they are 27, at the peak of their physical abilities right now. They will never be stronger, or faster, or have better reaction times than right now. And with both, I think the answer to the aforementioned question is no, what has happened will not continue to happen exactly as it has. Berrios will not continue to be as durable as he has been. Buxton will not continue to be as injury plagued as he has been.

I hope Buxton wrings every nickel of guarantee he can out of a GM. He's earned his money and someone should pay that man a huge boatload of cash. I don't think it'll be the Twins, I would be happy if it was, I'd understand if it wasn't. I'd be most upset if Buxton walked away from the Twins for a comp pick.

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1 hour ago, tony&rodney said:

teams will not risk sending their talent for an expensive one year oft-injured player

Buxton is not expensive for 2021. he's only looking at $7.5M in arbitration. There's $20M in excess value in one season of Byron Buxton.

This front office looks really, really cheap. There is no reason to run the Twins like the A's and Rays. If they're going to run the team like this they really should hire Mike Veeck to be the GM. They'll need the county fair carnival atmosphere from the Saints to get people to buy a ticket.

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I think the Berrios trade did 2 things for the negotiation. It solidified the "no really, if an offer from another team is good enough, it will happen" stance, which at least will give pause to a "holding out for more just because you can" stance.

 

But it also made the "sign to a big extension" budgeting easier. You can give Buxton a little more without having to factor in as much of Berrios deserves that too, and now he will expect it.

 

Anyway, i don't think anything will happen until the CBA stuff resolves itself.

 

Best get set for hibernation...

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 I am SHOCKED....wait...no I'm not... I've been saying an extension will not get  done for well over a year on this site.

1. Buxton trusts his value on the open market

2. Buxton has no love lost for this FO that screwed with his service time and his swing

3. Our FO will not pay over market value which is what it would take to keep him here

Ergo, he has always been gone.

The purpose of the Twins FO leak about trading or keeping him for the year tells us that there are few (1-3 teams) in trading discussion  who are low balling a bit because they have rightfully determined that the FO has to trade him and they don't want to bid against themselves. Therefore the Twins FO is threatening  the possibility of keeping him through the end of his contract and lose him for nothing (which is insane...and they won't do...which the other FOs know...) They think they are being shrewd, but other FO will see right through it and giggle

 

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I think Pohlad genuinely wants to try to compete next year. I think Falvey wants to tear it down and start over. It's probably a good long-term move for Falvey. Trying to contend means higher expectations for 2022 and possible consequences if they fall short again. A rebuild lowers expectations for 3-5 years. Nobody gets fired in the middle of a rebuild.

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