The Twins are in a position to re-sign Byron Buxton because of his time missed due to injury. If he had been healthy for his entire career, he'd likely cost more than the Twins would be able to afford. Reports this summer said Buxton's representatives were close to an extension, but the two sides couldn't agree on the contract incentives.
Here is an updated timeline of Buxton's injury history during his big-league career. There were other injuries during his time in the minors. Below you will also see the number of games he played per season and the Twins record.
2015 (46 G, 83-79): Buxton made his much-anticipated debut in June, but he missed nearly two months with a sprained left thumb that cost him a large chunk of his rookie season.
2016 (92 G, 59-103): Minnesota was heading to one of the team's worst seasons in franchise history. Buxton played in half the season, but he missed time in May and August dealing with a knee contusion and back spasms.
2017 (140 G, 85-77): Buxton's best overall season still saw him miss time with a groin strain and migraines. He still finished in the top-20 for AL MVP and won the Platinum Glove as the league's best defender.
2018 (28 G, 78-84): Unfortunately, migraines followed Buxton into the next season, including time missed with a strained wrist and a fractured toe. His toe injury had to be frustrating as he injured himself by fouling a ball off his foot as part of a rehab start in the minors.
2019 (87 G, 101-61): Concussion-like symptoms and a bruised right wrist impacted the early part of the season before a season-ending collision with the wall resulted in shoulder surgery. Minnesota won over 100 games, but a healthy Buxton might have been able to make a difference in the playoffs.
2020 (39 G, 36-24): Buxton was carted off the field with a left foot sprain during the team's ramp-up to the season. Luckily, this only cost him a couple of games at the season's start. At the end of 2020, Buxton was hit by a pitch in the helmet which caused the recurrence of concussion-like symptoms.
2021 (61 G, 73-89): Buxton was off to a torrid start to the year before hamstring issues, and hip strain put him on the IL. Only three days after returning from the hip strain, Buxton fractured his hand when he was hit by a pitch.
Overall, there has been a combination of bad luck and aggressiveness play that have resulted in Buxton's ever-growing injury history. However, these injuries also mean the Twins may be able to sign him to an incentive-laden deal. Minnesota's ultimate decision with Buxton will come down to the value they feel he will provide the team in the years ahead. When he's on the field, he is among baseball's best players. Does that outweigh the time he misses due to injury?
Should the Twins make a long-term investment in Buxton? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
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