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My Take On The Twins' Byron Buxton Conundrum


Should the Twins wish to sign Buxton, clauses in the contract such as "opt out" and "performance incentives" can be structured in such a way as to reach a contract acceptable to both sides.

The fact that an agreement has not yet taken place indicates that Buxton will soon be gone from the Twins.  That being the case,the Twins need to be both proactive and aggressive in identifying trade partners.  This organization cannot revert to the Ryan philosophy of just fielding offers.  The Twins need to identify the SPECIFIC players they want in return and find a way of putting together a trade that lands them that talent.  That includes an area in which the Twins have been deficient in over the years = multi team trades. 

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I almost wonder if the FO is listening to offers to see how do other teams value Buxton.  If teams are not offering top talent it may mean they are not valuing him as high as we do.  It may give an idea of what he could get as a FA.  I like Buck, and would like to see him sign long term, but I do understand the huge risk he is.  I also know no prospects are locks, and we do not know what teams are even willing to give up for Buck.  I do not expect that the Twins will let him get to FA.  The only way that happens is if we are in contention next year at the deadline, or he is injured at the deadline, which is highly likely he will be injured at that time. 

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This is only a conundrum for us. Based on the hindsight provided by the Jose Berrios saga, I believe the FO has always been set on a team friendly extension, or a trade. Trading the 2 most valuable trade chips left over by the TR regime is consistent with most front offices desire to create their new team in its own image. Falvey would have taken a world series championship with Ryans players, but now here we are. I think they are trading Buxton.

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6 hours ago, Trov said:

I almost wonder if the FO is listening to offers to see how do other teams value Buxton.  If teams are not offering top talent it may mean they are not valuing him as high as we do.  It may give an idea of what he could get as a FA.  I like Buck, and would like to see him sign long term, but I do understand the huge risk he is.  I also know no prospects are locks, and we do not know what teams are even willing to give up for Buck.  I do not expect that the Twins will let him get to FA.  The only way that happens is if we are in contention next year at the deadline, or he is injured at the deadline, which is highly likely he will be injured at that time. 

Great point! I personally think at least 2 of the the 6-ish deep pocket teams will be salivating which would be enough to drive up the price... but we shall see.

I also wonder though if the Twins are being low balled in trade offers because they waited too long and are up against the wall a bit.

Optimal time to make a decision to extend or trade would have been 2 years out, not 1 year out, for maximum value and minimum desperation.

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On 11/25/2021 at 11:01 AM, Doctor Gast said:

This season I saw Buck beat out a GB, stole 2B, advanced to 3B on a FO and inspirationally scored on another FO. Those actions of small ball sparked a win for the Twins. A very small % of MLB players would have even made to 1B let alone went around the bases to score. Buck makes the difficult plays look easy so FO can't see it while others make easy plays look difficult and FO falls all over them. He impacts the game in every aspect both on the field and off.

I agree. Buxton puts pressure on the pitcher and defense in ways that very few players can. They have to sign him. Below is the reason I sign him. Having Buxton is like have a true ace like a Johan Santana or Clayton Kershaw, Yes, there is the injury risk with Buxton but there is risk involved in business. 

 

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On 11/25/2021 at 12:25 PM, Dennesey55347 said:

Buxton is going into his age 28 (8th) season and has exactly 1+ exceptionally productive combined campaigns under his belt (2017 and 2020). He has only 6 AB's in post season play .125 with 4 K's). His career slash: .248/.299/.761. He has never seriously contended for MVP in any season because his offensive stats haven't been at all star level for most of his career, he doesn't draw walks, steal bases, or get on base enough to make a difference. The guy drafted 1 spot ahead of him also joined the league in 2015 and is grossly underpaid at $11.7 mil. Carlos Correa has also missed games pretty much every year like Buxton (albeit far fewer) but is a big-game legend already. Top 10 all-time (of 22,000+ players) in RBI's, HR's and WPA in the post-season. Yes, different positions and waaaay different teams but only one of the two has truly made a name for himself. I find it fascinating that Buxton is the only player in baseball garnering as much praise as he gets with such paltry career offensive production. If I were him, I'd pledge to give the team at least 2 FULL seasons of all-star caliber play before making contract demands. 

Is there any other example of a guy playing in only half of his teams games over his career hitting under .250 with an OBP 20+ points below league average, zero 20+ HR seasons, zero 70+ runs/RBI campaigns, more K's than RBI's, runs, and stolen bases combined, one 100+ games played/season, and half the WAR of a guy entering the league at the same time and drafted in practically the same spot who rejected a contract worth $80 mil +incentives? 

Defense is definitely worth consideration but you have to make roll call every day to use this as your bargaining tool. Buxton's speed trumps his smoothness and ball tracking- particularly deep balls where he has a habit of misreading and turning up the jets to recover only to crash test dummy with the wall. He's still got the wheels to make zero probability snags but playing at least 85% of your teams games for ONE season is just as impressive as the catches. 

What the Twins offered makes sense. You already overpaid Donaldson, who absolutely killed it as the FOURTH best player on Atlanta in 2019. As for Buxton, well, as famously quoted "the most important ability is availability". Show up. Get paid. Take the deal.

 

 

He's not making any contract demands.  He's simply willing to take the best offer made to him.  Sadly, the local nine appears unlikely to be  the team that will make that offer.

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