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  • Byron Buxton is Here to Stay


    Andrew Mahlke

    Everyone can relax. The Twins have extended their most talented player in the last decade for seven more years.

    Image courtesy of Nick Wosika/USA Today

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    Right before the Vikings game on Sunday, Ken Rosenthal announced that the Twins and Byron Buxton were finalizing an extension. Minutes later, he tweeted that the deal was for seven years and $100 million. This is huge news for Twins fans everywhere as Buxton is an electrifying player with MVP talent.

    As you all know, Buxton’s main downfall is concerns about his health. Since 2018, Buxton has only played in 48% of Twins games. It is hard to justify giving a lot of money to someone who has not been on the field for half of the games. However, when Buxton is on the field, the Twins are a completely different team. Since the beginning of 2019, the Twins have played at a 98 win pace when Buxton is on the field and an 81 win pace when he is not.

    When a player has an impact this profound on the success of his team, you want to keep him around with hopes that he can stay healthy. 

    Over a month ago, I wrote an article about what a potential Buxton extension would look like. I predicted it to be 7 years for $133 million, so signing him for $100 million is a steal for us. If Buxton performs like an MVP for his contract, he could make much more. Below are the full details of his contract.

    Included in the contract is a full no-trade clause. This means that if the Twins want to trade Buxton during his contract, he would have to agree to it. This was reportedly the final piece of the deal to be completed. This no-trade clause shows me that Buxton really loves Minnesota and wants to be here for his whole career.

    Buxton could have held off and waited until free agency in 2022 and probably got more money from a different team, but given his injury issues he wanted guaranteed money and he got it.

    In 2021, Buxton was worth over 4 wins above replacement in only 61 games. If he would’ve kept that pace up for even 120 games, he would have led all of Major League Baseball in WAR. Buxton is a generational talent that excels in every phase of the game.

    Now that the Twins have extended their superstar, look for them to be aggressive in free agency. After including Buxton’s $9 million in the 2022 payroll, the Twins are up to $77 million in payroll. They now have roughly $50 million to spend on 3 starting pitchers, a shortstop, and a reliever or two.

    I look for them to sign a middle to top-tier starting pitcher (Stroman, Rodon, Ray) and two more mid-tier pitchers, like Jon Gray, Yusei Kikuchi, or Michael Pineda. This will probably cost us about $40 million, so we will have to sign a stop-gap shortstop like Jonathan Villar or Freddy Galvis until Royce Lewis or Austin Martin is ready to take the reins.

    Byron Buxton is the most exciting player I have ever seen play for the Twins, and I am looking forward to seven more years of this.

    Thank you for reading, and Go Twins!

     

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    This is great, great news.  It is a big risk given his injury history but he also could be a top 5 to top 10 player in all of baseball and if he does manage that then this deal is a steal for the Twins.  There really is no one who can replace him with the speed, power and defensive combo he posses.  I am a happy Twins fan today.  Thank you Byron Buxton for staying with the team I love and the fans who love watching you play.

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    The salary that you proposed was fair. But the salary that Buck accepted was so much better, which tells mean me, what took this FO so long to sign him! All along it has been reported that Buck was fine w/ the base pay but FO balked at the incentives. Why did they balked at MVP incentives which benefit them or was it the no trade stipulation? IMO that this FO did not want to keep him but later felt the pressure to sign him and did so at a bigger price tag. Just like I felt this FO was pressured to move Polanco to 2B and Arraez off, by the article by Ken Rosenthal. It was a no brainer, it was the best move this FO had made. Now I think signing Buck tops them all. We as objective fans needs to keep constant pressure on this FO to get them off their plan and do the right thing and not blindly accept everything they say.

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    As far as the no trade clause is concerned, I am sure he likes playing here, but it probably has more to do with him being able to dictate where he goes if he and the Twins do eventually decide to part ways.

    In any event, I think this is a good deal for all sides. It gives him a life altering amount of guaranteed money with lucrative incentives, which I am sure the Twins will be more than happy to pay, since it means we'll be getting the player we all know he can be.

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    Glad it’s done.

    But I really hope the no-trade clause wasn’t actually what held this up. I’m not quite sure where that came from or if it’s true, but if it is, the Twins are once again failing to adapt to modern baseball. No trade clauses, opt outs, these are part of paying players in the 21st century, deal with it.

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    OMG.  We have three articles on TD dealing with Buxton contract.  I'm sure all of us Twins fans are happy.  Now maybe we can concentrate on improving the team.  While many teams are currently signing pitchers and top talent, the Twins as usual sit back and watch. I'm glad we got Buxton locked in for a few years but it will only do good if we improve the team.  Signing Buxton to a long term deal does not improve the team.  He's already been here.  Let's hope he stays on the field and the FO builds around him.

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    Only got done as opposed to a trade to please the fans.  As was the case with the Mauer contract, ownership did not want to alienate the fan base. During the term of his contract, while he is collecting a handsome payout while once again on the Disabled List, the fans will be moaning and groaning about the size of his contract while the front office will be explaining that the team is too poor to surround Buxton with the talent necessary for the team to be successful.  (See Mauer, Joe) This also means that the long term status of Donaldson has been determined.  There is no future for him in Minnesota.  He will either be traded prior to the end of his contract or will be allowed to walk after the end of his contract

     

     

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    One problem. Buxton can't catch balls hit over the fence!! With no money for an Ace we won't go to the playoffs!

    How embarrassing for the Local Media guys/gals to AGAIN miss out on a big signing. Do ANY of them know how to work the phones or build relationships with Front Offices? That's their job! Rosen - 45 years never broke a story and now the current group never have.

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    5 minutes ago, farmerguychris said:

    I know a lot of fans will gripe about this signing - $15 M for a player who's always hurt.  Fact is however if he plays even half the games every season, we're still getting what we're paying for.  For a full season he should be a $30M player.  Thus any games he plays over 80 simply is added value.

    Yep. As I said in another thread, this contract is the compromise between Superstar Buxton and Oft-Injured Buxton. If he were just the former, he’d get double that, and still a no-injury guarantee. He could stay healthy (probably not), but he could. This is a happy median contract, imo. Very smartly done.

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    Thanks Twins and thanks Byron for making my age 76 to age 83 years able to watch my favorite play.er. If he has healthier years, he WILL be one of the most valuable player in all of baseball. Even years when they aren't as competitive as we'd all like, I can look forward to watching them play.  Really happy and excited!!!!!!

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    Great signing and very creative contract for a generational talent. Buxton is betting on himself to remain healthy, and he gets a good base salary to acknowledge his skills and contributions up to this point.

    "..including Buxton’s $9 million in the 2022 payroll, the Twins are up to $77 million in payroll. They now have roughly $50 million to spend on 3 starting pitchers, a shortstop, and a reliever or two."

    Last year's budget was affected by uncertainty stemming from the pandemic. Is this year's budget stuck at the 125-130MM range? With all the pieces needed (I'd argue LF also should be addressed), we shouldn't settle for stopgaps and placeholders at positions like SP and SS if the Twins truly expect to return to contention.

     

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    5 hours ago, HrbieFan said:

    Now please stay healthy Buxton! Very solid contract for both sides. Wish they were in on Gray before he signed with the Rangers for around $14m per. 

    I agree. I don't think paying him that much is too egregious. Will be interesting to see what he can do outside of Coors Field.

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    5 hours ago, Whitey333 said:

    OMG.  We have three articles on TD dealing with Buxton contract.  I'm sure all of us Twins fans are happy.  Now maybe we can concentrate on improving the team.  While many teams are currently signing pitchers and top talent, the Twins as usual sit back and watch. I'm glad we got Buxton locked in for a few years but it will only do good if we improve the team.  Signing Buxton to a long term deal does not improve the team.  He's already been here.  Let's hope he stays on the field and the FO builds around him.

    I agree. He is a player the Twins should build around. Hopefully this is just the start and we can sign a couple starting pitchers over the next couple of days.

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    1 hour ago, Finlander said:

    Great signing and very creative contract for a generational talent. Buxton is betting on himself to remain healthy, and he gets a good base salary to acknowledge his skills and contributions up to this point.

    "..including Buxton’s $9 million in the 2022 payroll, the Twins are up to $77 million in payroll. They now have roughly $50 million to spend on 3 starting pitchers, a shortstop, and a reliever or two."

    Last year's budget was affected by uncertainty stemming from the pandemic. Is this year's budget stuck at the 125-130MM range? With all the pieces needed (I'd argue LF also should be addressed), we shouldn't settle for stopgaps and placeholders at positions like SP and SS if the Twins truly expect to return to contention.

     

    I haven't heard anything to indicate we will be spending over 130MM. After the Scherzer signing the Mets projected payroll is 265MM (!!) so hopefully the Pohlad's are willing to push the envelope a bit and run it up to the 140-150 range.

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