According to the Star Tribune’s Patrick Reusse, Buxton might be unhappy with the Twins. There are a variety of reasons Buxton might be displeased including the handling of his service time back at the end of 2018. If he had been called up in September that year, he would reach free agency this winter. Instead, he has one more year of team control.
From the Twins perspective, this extra year is very valuable, because it allows the team to keep him for 2022 or it adds to what the team can get in a trade. Obviously, Buxton is going to need to come back and show that he is healthy for other teams to seriously consider a trade So, what teams need a centerfield upgrade for October?
New York Yankees
Twins fans might not want to hear it, but the Yankees make a lot of sense when it comes to a Buxton deal. Former Twin Aaron Hicks is recovering from left wrist surgery. New York has been shuffling through a lot of non-traditional center field options in recent weeks like Aaron Judge and Brett Gardner. Among AL teams, only the Mariners and Tigers have gotten less WAR in centerfield than the Yankees. It’s also been widely reported that Yankees GM Brian Cashman is open to dealing for a center field upgrade.
Houston saw their long-time centerfielder, George Springer, leave via free agency last winter and now the club might be looking for an upgrade for a postseason run. The Astros find themselves in the second Wild Card position and their primary center fielder, Myles Straw, is not exactly a household name. Only two positions on the Astros, CF and C, have produced an OPS under .800 this year. Straw entered play on Tuesday with a .637 OPS and 10 extra-base hits in 61 games. Among AL teams, the Astros have gotten the 10th lowest WAR total out of the center field position.
The Brewers are in the thick of the NL Central race and they have the NL Wild Card spot to fall back on if they lose out in the division title. Only one NL team, the Braves, have accumulate less WAR in center than the Brewers. Most of Milwaukee’s negative WAR total has come on the offensive side where their center fielders have combined for a -15.6 offensive runs above average which is the worst in baseball. As a small market team, Milwaukee needs to take advantage of every postseason opportunity, especially since the club has made the playoffs in three of the last four years.
Boston Red Sox
After finishing in last place last season, the Red Sox are back in the hunt for the AL East crown. There have been offensive struggles at multiple positions in their line-up, so Buxton provides an opportunity for an offensive upgrade. Enrique Hernandez has played the most games in center, but his .669 OPS isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire. Also, Boston hasn’t been getting a lot of production at first base, so maybe they would be interested in a package deal that includes Buxton and Sano.
Do you think Buxton gets dealt to one of these teams? What other teams could make the list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.