Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'byron buxton' in articles.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Categories

  • Twins
  • Minors
  • Saints
  • Just For Fun
  • Twins Daily

Categories

  • Unregistered Help Files
  • All Users Help Files

Categories

  • Twins & Minors
  • Vintage
  • Retrospective
  • Twins Daily

Forums

  • Baseball Forums
    • Minnesota Twins Talk
    • Twins Minor League Talk
    • Head 2 Head Debate Forum
    • Twins Daily Front Page News
    • Other Baseball
    • Archived Game Threads
  • MinnCentric Forums
    • The Sports Bar
    • Minnesota Vikings Talk
    • Minnesota Wild Talk
    • Minnesota Timberwolves Talk
  • Current Affairs's Politics and Human Rights
  • Current Affairs's Non-political current affairs
  • Twins Daily's Questions About The Site

Blogs

  • Blog awstafki
  • The Lurker's Annual
  • Mike Sixel's Blog
  • Twins fan in Texas
  • highlander's Blog
  • Patrick Wozniak's Blog
  • Blog dennyhocking4HOF
  • From the Plaza
  • The Special Season
  • Twins Daily's Blog
  • Blog Twins best friend
  • Kyle Eliason's Blog
  • Extra Innings
  • SkinCell Pro: How Does Remove Mole & Skin Tag Work?
  • Blog Badsmerf
  • mikelink45's Blog
  • MT Feelings
  • Keto Burn Max Benefits
  • Blog crapforks
  • Off The Baggy
  • VikingTwinTwolf's Blog
  • A Blog to Be Named Later
  • Cormac's Corner
  • Blog MaureenHill
  • Halsey Hall Chapter of SABR
  • Road Tripping with the Twins
  • Greg Allen
  • Classic Minnesota Twins
  • The Line of Mendoza
  • BombazoMLB
  • Blog Twins Daily Admin
  • joshykid1's Blog
  • What if the Twins had drafted Prior or Teixeira instead of Mauer?
  • the_brute_squad's Blog
  • Better Baseball Is Ahead
  • Nick's Twins Blog
  • Blog jianfu
  • joshykid1's Blog
  • The PTBNL
  • Levi Hansen
  • SethSpeaks.net
  • Blog leshaadawson
  • Underwriting the Twins
  • Small Sample Size
  • parkerb's Blog
  • Tim
  • TwinsGeek.com
  • Blog Roaddog
  • Mauerpower's Blog
  • SotaPop's Blog
  • Face facts!!!
  • Over the Baggy
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Heezy1323's Blog
  • LA Vikes Fan
  • North Dakota Twins Fan
  • Blog Reginald Maudling's Shin
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Miller1234's Blog
  • Twins Curmudgeon
  • Blog Kirsten Brown
  • if we aint spendin 140 million
  • Boone's Blog
  • Rounding Third
  • Kirilloff & Co.
  • Shallow Thoughts - bean5302
  • The Hanging SL
  • Red Wing Squawk
  • Distraction via Baseball
  • Nine of twelve's Blog
  • Notes From The Neds
  • Blog Lindsay Guentzel
  • Blog Karl
  • Vance_Christianson's Blog
  • Curveball Blog
  • waltomeal's Blog
  • bronald3030
  • Knuckleballs - JC
  • Blog jrzf713
  • The Minor League Lifestyle
  • Jason Kubel is America
  • weneedjackmorris' Blog
  • Mahlk
  • Off The Mark
  • Blog freightmaster
  • Playin' Catch
  • Sethmoko's Blog
  • Dome Dogg's Blog
  • Lev's Musings
  • Blog Scott Povolny
  • Blog COtwin
  • Hrbowski's Blog
  • Minnesota Twins Whine Line
  • Bomba Blog
  • cjm0926's Blogs
  • Blog Chad Jacobsen
  • Blog ScottyBroco
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Back Office Twins Baseball Blog
  • DannySD's Blog
  • nobitadora's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1812
  • Greg Fransen
  • Blog Adam Krueger
  • Hammered (adj.) Heavily inebriated, though to a lesser extent than ****faced.
  • Thegrin's Blog
  • 3rd Inning Stretch's Blog
  • Mark Ferretti
  • Jeremy Nygaard
  • The W.A.R. room
  • Christopher Fee's Blog
  • Postma Posts
  • Rolondo's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1814
  • Blog Fanatic Jack
  • Dominican Adventure
  • Cory Engelhardt's Blog
  • markthomas' Blog
  • blogs_blog_1815
  • Blog AJPettersen
  • Blog AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS
  • BW on the Beat
  • jfeyereisn17's Blog
  • 2020 Offseason Blueprint
  • Blog TimShibuya
  • Fumi Saito's Blog
  • This Twins Fans Thoughts
  • Long Live La Tortuga
  • Blog TonyDavis
  • Blog Danchat
  • sdtwins37's Blog
  • Thinking Outside the Box
  • dbminn
  • Blog travistwinstalk
  • jokin's Blog
  • Thoughts from The Catch
  • BlakeAsk's Blog
  • Tom Schreier's Blog
  • less cowBlog
  • Hansen101's Blog
  • The Gopher Hole
  • 2020 Twins BluePrint - HotDish Surprise
  • Blog bkucko
  • The Circleback Blog
  • All Things Twins
  • Blog iTwins
  • Drinking at the 573
  • The Thirsty Crow and the google boy from peepeganj
  • Catching Some Zs
  • Blog TCAnelle
  • Singles off the Wall
  • tarheeltwinsfan's Blog
  • A View From The Roof
  • The Blog Days of Summer
  • Jordan1212's Blog
  • You Shouldn't Have Lost
  • TwinsTakes.com Blog on TwinsDaily.com - Our Takes, Your Takes, TwinsTakes.com!
  • Blog SgtSchmidt11
  • Dantes929's Blog
  • Critical Thinking
  • Blog Matt VS
  • Blog RickPrescott
  • The Dollar Dome Dog
  • Travis M's Blog
  • Diamond Dollars
  • Blog jorgenswest
  • Twinsfan4life
  • Travis M's Interviews
  • whatyouknowtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog righty8383
  • Blog TwinsWolvesLynxBlog
  • Supfin99's Blog
  • tarheeltwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog glunn
  • Blog yumen0808
  • Unkind Bounces
  • Doctor Gast's Blog
  • One Man's View From Section 231
  • Don't Feed the Greed? What does that mean...
  • Diesel's Blog
  • Blog denarded
  • Blog zymy0813
  • Twins Peak
  • Minnesota Twins Health and Performance: A Blog by Lucas Seehafer PT
  • Blog kirbyelway
  • Blog JP3700
  • twinssouth's Blog
  • Ports on Sports Blog
  • Blog Twins Fan From Afar
  • Blog E. Andrew
  • The 10th Inning Stretch
  • Hans Birkleberry's Blog
  • Blog twinsarmchairgm
  • Pitz Hits
  • samthetwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog JB (the Original)
  • soofootinsfan37's Blog
  • You Can Read This For Free
  • One Post Blog
  • Blog Dez Tobin
  • South Dakota Tom's Blog
  • hrenlazar2019's Blog
  • MNSotaSportsGal Twins Takes
  • Blog kemics
  • Blog AM.
  • DerektheDOM's Blog
  • Twins Tunes
  • Blog jtrinaldi
  • Blog Bill
  • Not Another Baseball Blog
  • Down on the Farm
  • Most likely pitchers making their MLB debut in 2021 for Twins.
  • Blog Wookiee of the Year
  • mike8791's Blog
  • Pensacola Blue Wahoos: Photo-A-Day
  • Puckets Pond
  • Blog Jim H
  • A trade for the off season
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Kasota Gold
  • The POSTseason
  • Blog guski
  • Blog rickyriolo
  • SgtSchmidt11's Blog
  • Twinternationals
  • Blog birdwatcher
  • Blog acrozelle
  • Axel Kohagen's Catastrophic Overreactions
  • Bashwood12's Blog
  • Spicer's Baseball Movie Reviews
  • Beyond the Metrodome
  • Blog yangxq0827
  • The Pat-Man Saga
  • TheTeufelShuffle's Blog
  • ebergdib's blog
  • Blog Thegrin
  • Zachary's Blog
  • scottyc35
  • Danchat's Aggregated Prospect Rankings
  • Thrylos' Blog - select Tenth Inning Stretch posts
  • Blog taune
  • scottyc35's Blog
  • World's Greatest Online Magazine
  • Blog tweety2012
  • DRizzo's Blog
  • mrtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog asmus_ndsu
  • Otto Gets Blotto
  • Betsy Twins Report
  • Blog shawntheroad
  • Blog David-14
  • Blog Buddy14
  • Blog keithanderson
  • Blog Topperanton
  • Blog lightfoot789
  • Blog Axel Kohagen
  • Blog Lesser Dali
  • Blog Neinstein
  • Blog Bob Sacamento
  • Blog J-Dog Dungan
  • Thoughts of a Bullpen Catcher
  • Blog Dilligaf69
  • blogs_blog_1599
  • Twin Minds
  • My Opening Day Poem
  • Blog Teflon
  • Blog yanking it out...
  • Blog Anare
  • Blog Charlie Beattie
  • Blog Coach J
  • What to do with Morneau?
  • Peanuts from Heaven
  • Blog Physics Guy
  • Twins Adjacent
  • Field of Twins
  • Martin Schlegel's Blog
  • The Long View
  • Blog grumpyrob
  • Off The Mark
  • Blog Jeff A
  • Blog jwestbrock
  • by Matt Sisk
  • Blog Sarah
  • Blog RodneyKline
  • Blog JeffB
  • Anorthagen's Twins Daily Blogs
  • Low Profile MI Trade
  • Blog CC7
  • Blog dwintheiser
  • Blog Docsilly
  • Blog cmathewson
  • Blog mnfireman
  • Blog twinsfanstl
  • Blog dave_dw
  • Blog MN_Twins_Live
  • Standing Room Only
  • Blog gkasper
  • Blog puck34
  • Blog Old Twins Cap
  • Blog diehardtwinsfan
  • Blog Twinfan & Dad
  • Blog LimestoneBaggy
  • Blog Brian Mozey
  • vqt94648's Blog
  • Blog Loosey
  • Blog fairweather
  • World Series Champions 2088
  • Blog Drtwins
  • Blog peterb18
  • Blog LindaU
  • Kevin Slowey was Framed!
  • Blog Christopher Fee
  • Very Well Then
  • Pitch2Contact.com
  • A View from the Slot
  • Blog severson09
  • Blog husker brian
  • Blog Ray Tapajna
  • Sell high?
  • Blog bogeypepsi
  • Blog tshide
  • Blog Gene Larkin Fan Club
  • Blog jimbo92107
  • Blog DefinitelyNotVodkaDave
  • Blog Cap'n Piranha
  • The Blog Formerly Known as Undomed
  • Frank Vantur's Blog
  • Blog Ricola
  • Blog AScheib50
  • SamGoody's Blog
  • Blog clutterheart
  • Blog Trent Condon
  • Blog bwille
  • blogs_blog_1635
  • Blog strumdatjag
  • Blog huhguy
  • blogs_blog_1636
  • Blog 3rd Inning Stretch
  • Blog 10PagesOfClearBlueSky
  • blogs_blog_1637
  • Blog Tyomoth
  • SD Buhr/Jim Crikket
  • blogs_blog_1638
  • Blog bear333
  • Blog sln477
  • Blog abbylucy
  • Blog Gernzy
  • Troy's Twins Thoughts
  • Blog OtherHoward219
  • blogs_blog_1642
  • Blog ScrapTheNickname
  • Blog TicketKing
  • Blog sotasports9
  • Twins Rubes
  • Blog goulik
  • Hosken's Blog
  • Blog one_eyed_jack
  • Blog joelindell
  • Blog rikker49
  • Blog nickschubert
  • Blog DreInWA
  • You're Not Reading This
  • Blog Hugh Morris
  • The Blog Formerly Known as Undomed
  • Kottke's Cuts
  • Blog Dakota Watts
  • Blog markroehl
  • Blog jjswol
  • Blog Tibs
  • blogs_blog_1654
  • Blog jlovren
  • Blog Boone
  • Puckmen's Blog
  • Minnesota native to attend Twins predraft workout
  • Blog obryaneu
  • Blog JohnFoley
  • Blog TwinsArmChairGM_Jon
  • Bloop Singles
  • Blog Ryan Atkins
  • Blog the blade
  • Blog Lonestar
  • Blog jdotmcmahon
  • Blog WayneJimenezubc
  • Blog Sconnie
  • Blog PogueBear
  • Blog pierre75275
  • cHawk Talks Baseball
  • Blog Paul Bebus
  • flyballs in orbit
  • Blog A33bates
  • Blog lunchboxhero_4
  • lidefom746's Blog
  • Blog coddlenomore
  • Blog Trevor0333
  • Blog lee_the_twins_fan
  • Blog StreetOfFire
  • Blog clark47dorsey
  • Texastwinsfan blog
  • Blog KCasey
  • Blog Joey Lindseth
  • Blog jakelovesgolf
  • Blog mchokozie
  • Thoughts from the Stands
  • cHawk’s Blog
  • Blog best game in the world
  • Heather's thoughts
  • Blog sammy0eaton
  • HitInAPinch's Blog
  • Blog Mauerpower
  • Blog Jdosen
  • Blog twinsfanohio
  • Beyond the Limestone
  • Blog dougkoebernick
  • Get to know 'em
  • 5 Tool Blog
  • Cole Trace
  • Blog Sunglasses
  • Blog CTB_NickC
  • Blog Colin.O'Donnell
  • "And we'll see ya' ... tomorrow night."
  • Blog richardkr34
  • Gopher Baseball with Luke Pettersen
  • Blog KelvinBoyerxrg
  • Blog twinsfan34
  • Blog CaryMuellerlib
  • Blog jtkoupal
  • FunnyPenguin's Blog
  • Blog Sierra Szeto
  • Blog ExiledInSeattle
  • A Realistic Fix to the 2014 Twins
  • Blog naksh
  • Blog bellajelcooper
  • rickymartin's Blog
  • Blog twinsajsf
  • Blog keeth
  • Blog Murphy Vasterling Cannon
  • Twins Winter Caravan
  • Blog tracygame
  • Blog rjohnso4
  • Half a Platoon
  • Blog jangofelixak
  • Blog SirClive
  • tooslowandoldnow's Blog
  • Blog Troy Larson
  • Blog thetank
  • nicksaviking blog
  • Blog iekfWjnrxb
  • Blog SouthDakotaFarmer
  • Bill Parker
  • Left Coast Bias
  • Blog tobi0040
  • Lee-The-Twins-Fan's Blog
  • Blog foe-of-nin
  • Blog cocosoup
  • Minnesota Groan
  • Blog wRenita5
  • rgvtwinstalk
  • Major Minnesotans
  • Blog Aaron 12
  • Blog janewong
  • The Twins Almanac
  • Blog boys
  • Blog bennep
  • Hambino the Great's Blog
  • Blog JadaKingg25
  • Jesse Lund's Blog
  • Blog Brabes1987
  • RealStoriesMN
  • Blog sanal101
  • Blog Spikecurveball
  • Blog Devereaux
  • D-mac's Blog
  • Blog tarheeltwinsfan
  • kakakhan's Blog
  • Blog Oliver
  • Blog travis_aune
  • Twins and Losses
  • In My Opinion
  • Blog ieveretgte4f
  • Blog Sam Morley
  • Pinto's Perspective
  • Blog curt1965
  • VeryWellThen's Blog
  • Extcs
  • The Foul Play-by-Play Twins Blog
  • Dave The Dastardly's Blog
  • Blog winunaarec
  • Negativity Police's Blog
  • Blog Robb Jeffries
  • Adam Houck's Blog
  • SaintsTrain
  • Loosey's Blog
  • Blog EE in Big D
  • Talkin' Twins with Jonathon
  • Steve Penz's Blog
  • Blog jtequilabermeah
  • The Tenth Inning Stretch
  • Apathy for the Game
  • Dave The Dastardly's Blog
  • Blog hmariloustarkk
  • Car detailing
  • Blog Brendan Kennealy
  • Twins Fan From Afar's Blog
  • Visit500
  • Blog totocc
  • SD Buhr's Blog
  • KirbyHawk75's Blog
  • Blog Bark's Lounge
  • huhguy's Blog
  • Blog TwinsFanLV
  • NumberThree's Blog
  • Blog pandorajewelry
  • The Go Gonzo Journal Twins Blog
  • Twinsnerd123's Blog
  • Blog cClevelandSmialekp
  • Talk to Contact
  • Boo-urns
  • Blog silverslugger
  • jtkoupal's Blog
  • Broker's Blog
  • Blog Twinsoholic
  • diehardtwinsfan's Blog
  • Brad's Blog
  • Javier Maschrano - the rising star of Argentina
  • Be Always in Fashion &in Trendy Look
  • Blog Salazar
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Be Always in Fashion &in Trendy Look
  • ThejacKmp's Blog
  • Blog vMaymeHansone
  • stringer bell's Blog
  • Blog brvama
  • AJPettersen's Blog
  • WiscoTwin
  • Rants (not Rantz)
  • iec23966's Blog
  • Blog loisebottorf83
  • CodyB's Blog
  • Staying Positive
  • Target Field of Dreams' Blog
  • Intentional Balk
  • Blog rodmccray11282
  • ReturnOfShaneMack's Blog
  • Blog SksippSvefdklyn
  • A blog about the Twins & more
  • Thome the Moneyball
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Lefty74's Blog
  • USAFChief's Blog
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Tony Nato's Blog
  • Clear's Blog
  • Blog LeeStevensonuuf
  • Waking up the Twins
  • Blog GrahamCharleshqr
  • First Base and the legacy of Kent Hrbek
  • carly148
  • Blog MWLFan
  • Minnie Paul and Mary
  • twinstarheelsfan's Blog
  • This game's fun, OK?
  • Blog TimeAgreell
  • Tsuyoshi's Island
  • NASCAR Steve's Blog
  • Kevin Horner's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1742
  • Blog CDog
  • Hold for the Batter
  • John the Analytics Guy
  • mrmpls' Blog
  • Zlog
  • samberry's Blog
  • nmtwinsfan's Blog
  • Under Teflon Skies
  • Views from the road
  • St. Paul Saints
  • Blog tkyokoperkinsn
  • Alskn's Northern Lights
  • Talkin' Turnstiles
  • Find Stats Elsewhere
  • Blog LaBombo
  • hugelycat's Blog
  • Deduno Abides' Blog
  • Milldaddy35's Blog Area
  • Blog Fire Dan Gladden
  • Baseball Intelligence
  • framedoctor's Blog
  • Blog Riverbrian
  • Blog Brandon
  • Organizational Depth Chart
  • Left Field Gap
  • gtkilla
  • Hicks' Left-Handed Helmets
  • MauerState7's Blog
  • 80MPH Changeup
  • Twins Pitch Breakdown
  • What you know about that blog
  • Blog DaTwins
  • positive1's Blog
  • rikker49's Blog
  • baxterpope15's Blog
  • Blog ThejacKmp
  • Random Thoughts About Baseball
  • Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Blog
  • Run Prevention
  • Blog ericchri
  • pierre75275's Blog
  • Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Blog
  • Cargo Cult Sabermetrics
  • Blog 81Exposruledbaseball
  • Deduno Abides' Blog
  • David Howell's Blog
  • Blog daanderson20
  • Twin Billing
  • sorney's Blog
  • TCAnelle's Blog
  • Blog shs_59
  • rikker49's Blog
  • Crackin' Wax's Cardboard Corner
  • Blog jm3319
  • jsteve96's Blog
  • The Always Fashionable; Uncle Charlie
  • Blog stringer bell
  • twinssouth's Blog
  • Baseball Good
  • Blog everettegalr
  • twinsfan34's Blog
  • menthmike's Blog
  • Blog Obie
  • B Richard's Blog
  • Brazilian Twins Territory
  • The Hidden Baseball
  • Blog SpinnesotaGirl
  • Marthaler
  • InfieldFlyRuled
  • Coopcarlson3's Blog
  • Blog SoDakTwinsFan5
  • Blog LastOnePicked
  • Bob Sacamento's Blog
  • MnTwinsTalk's Blog
  • Blog Top Gun
  • Twinfan & Dad's Blog
  • Nebtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog TKGuy
  • GLO Blog
  • Ben Fadden's Blog
  • ajcondon's Blog
  • Blog TheMind07
  • Daily Twins Daily
  • TwinkiePower's Blog
  • Blog Michael Blomquist
  • VeryWellThen
  • MN_ExPat's Blog
  • Channing1964's Blog
  • Blog Darin Bratsch
  • Twin's Organizational News
  • Around The Horn
  • Blog beckmt
  • jjswol's Twins Trivia Blog
  • BeantownTwinsFan's Blog
  • Blog YourHouseIsMyHouse
  • jjswol's Twins Trivia Blog
  • Blog jay
  • SF Twins Fan's Blog
  • Morneau
  • TNTwinsFan's Blog
  • Musings from Twins Territory
  • Original Twin
  • Blog El Guapo
  • Doubles' Blog
  • Kirbek's Leaps and Pulls
  • Blog jokin
  • Brandon's Blog
  • A Look Back
  • Science of Baseball
  • Blog IdahoPilgrim
  • Sam Morley's Blog
  • oregontwin's Blog
  • Rounding Second
  • Blog Lyric53
  • The Curse of the Trees
  • gagu's Blog
  • Twins in CA
  • Blog Oldgoat_MN
  • Giant Baseball Cards
  • Blog twinfan49
  • docsillyseth's Blog
  • Kirby O'Connor's Blog
  • dfklgkoc
  • Blog ContinuumGuy
  • Wille's Way
  • Minnesota Sports Statistics Analysis
  • Ryan Stephan's Twinpinions
  • blogs_blog_2805
  • Blog tradingadvantage
  • brvama's Blog
  • Minnesota SSA's Blog
  • Danchat's Strat-O-Matic Blog
  • Blog Chance
  • NoCryingInBaseball's Blog
  • It Takes All Kinds
  • TFRazor's Blog
  • Blog twinslover
  • Sarah's Blog
  • theJemmer's Blog
  • Spikecurveball's Blog
  • Four Six Three
  • blogs_blog_2809
  • 2012 Draft.
  • travistwinstalk's Blog
  • Seth Stohs' Blog
  • Through a Child's Eyes
  • Colexalean Supplement Reviews
  • Blog jiamay
  • Dome Dogg's Blog
  • Fanspeak's Twins and AL Central Blog
  • In Pursuit of Pennants
  • minnesotasportsunlimited's Blog
  • Jacob Booth Blogs
  • Blog stewthornley
  • mickeymental's Blog
  • Baseball Bat's Offseason Blueprint
  • AJswarley's Blog
  • Twins Outsider's Blog
  • Blog h2oface
  • Iowa Twins Fan
  • Twinkie Talk
  • Battle Your Tail Off
  • JackWhite's Blog
  • bikram's Blog
  • Twins Nation Podcast

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Website URL


Personal Blog Name


Personal Blog URL


Location:


Biography


Occupation


Interests


Twitter

  1. Below you will see Minnesota’s projected line-up and each player’s age during the 2025 campaign. Catcher: Ryan Jeffers (27) Ryan Jeffers struggled through parts of the 2021 season, but expectations are still high for him to become the team’s primary catcher in the years ahead. In 2025, he will be 27-years-old and be in his second year of arbitration eligibility. Backing up Jeffers will likely be Ben Rortvedt, who made his debut last season. First Base: Alex Kirilloff (27) Alex Kirilloff primarily split his time between the corner outfield and first base (22 OF starts, 21 1B starts) during his brief big-league career, but first base will be his eventual defensive home. He has a chance to be one of the league’s best defenders at the position. His bat will be above average no matter where he ends up on the defensive side of the ball. In 2025, he should be a regular in the middle of the line-up while powering Minnesota’s offense. Second Base: Jorge Polanco (31) Jorge Polanco is coming off his most valuable big-league season, so it is interesting to consider what the next handful of years can mean for his career. The 2025 campaign is the last season in which he is under team control from the contract he signed before the 2019 season. Last season, FanGraphs put Polanco’s value at $31.4 million, and he will make $12 million in 2025. Shortstop: Royce Lewis (25) This winter, Minnesota has an opportunity to take advantage of one of arguably the best free-agent shortstop classes in baseball history. However, Royce Lewis is one of the team’s top prospects, and they may have confidence in him holding down shortstop to start his big-league career. He hasn’t played a game in two seasons, so the 2022 campaign will go a long way to determining his eventual defensive home. Third Base: Jose Miranda (26) Josh Donaldson’s contract can run through the 2024 season, leaving third base wide open for Jose Miranda. Expectations are for Miranda to make his big-league debut in 2022, and he should start getting regular reps at third base in the upcoming campaign. He’s coming off a tremendous season at Double- and Triple-A, and the team just added him to the 40-man roster this winter. Left Field: Austin Martin (26) Austin Martin is an intriguing prospect, but his defensive future is still up for debate. He has spent most of his professional career playing shortstop or center field, and he played a lot of third base in college. With Buxton manning center, Martin can slide to a corner outfield position and provide above-average defense. Hopefully, Martin’s power tool improves in the years ahead, so he becomes a perfect corner outfield fit. Center Field: Byron Buxton (31) If the Twins hadn’t signed Byron Buxton to an extension, multiple prospects would be considered as the team’s center fielder of the future. Lewis and Martin have both seen time in the outfield, and Gilberto Celestino has played plenty in center. Those players can be secondary options because Buxton is one of baseball’s best players when he is healthy. In the years ahead, it is going to be interesting to see how Buxton ages. Some of his game relies on speed and athleticism. Will the team have to move him out of center field by 2025? Right Field: Trevor Larnach (28) There’s no question that Trevor Larnach struggled during the 2021 season, but he had only played 43 games above the High-A level entering last year. Larnach was Minnesota’s first-round pick in 2018 because of his college experience at Oregon State and his powerful bat. By 2025, he should be a solid everyday outfielder with plenty of pop. Designated Hitter: Miguel Sano (31) Designated hitter is an interesting position to try and project for the long-term. Minnesota has multiple prospects like Brent Rooker and Aaron Sabato that don’t have a defensive home. However, Miguel Sano has hit 30 home runs or more in two of the last three seasons. Will the team be willing to continue paying him $9-10 million or turn the position over to someone younger? Who do you think fits into the team’s 2025 line-up? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. PREVIOUS YEAR’S PREDICTIONS — 2022 Line-Up — 2023 Line-Up — 2024 Line-Up
  2. I simulated the 2021 season (in which the Twins wound up winning the World Series, crazy) and then signed Buxton to his lucrative extension. With him in tow for the better part of the next decade, I then simulated every season and offseason through 2028 while allowing the computer to do its thing. This might not be surprising, but the man is pretty good. Before we dive into what took place, let’s catch you up to where we are now. Following the 2028 season, Buxton is 34 years old and an 86 overall player in the game. He began this process as a 90 overall player at age 28 and has only started to see a slight decline. In terms of relatable advanced analytics, MLB The Show uses its own calculation for WAR. In 2019, when Buxton posted an .827 OPS and 2.7 fWAR, The Show valued him at 2.9 WAR. That gives us a pretty even comparison. Now, let’s dive in. Even in real life, Buxton should never be expected to hit for a real high average (though he did over 61 games in 2021). That was true in The Show during the first year of his contract. Despite being worth 3.8 WAR, he posted just a .225 average. It translated to a .700 OPS with 17 dingers and seven triples. That’s where things took off. In each of the following three seasons, Buxton posted increasing WAR marks. Starting with a 4.6 effort in 2023, going to 4.7 in 2024, and topping out at 4.9 in 2025. He led the league with 19 outfield assists in 2023 and stole 24 bases. His 26 long balls were a new career-high, and he tallied eight triples. It was that 2025 season where the magic happened. Rewarded for his career year, the .261 average and .779 OPS were enough to earn him American League MVP honors. His 12 triples were a career-high, and the 17 homers added some nice thump to a decent Minnesota lineup. From 2022 through 2026, Buxton averaged 148 games per year, playing in all but three during the 2026 season. Injuries got him a bit the last two seasons of his deal, in which he played just 124 games in 2027 and 79 in 2028. Throughout the extension, Buxton compiled 24.2 WAR which Fangraphs valued as worth roughly $191.9 million, or just shy of double his contract. Accolades were often tallied for the Twins centerfielder. He racked up five straight Gold Gloves from 2022-26 and was named to three All-Star teams. The roster was largely turned over, with names such as Logan Webb, Abraham Toro, and Carlos Correa welcomed. Still, Buxton remained the organization’s best player for the vast majority of his time. He didn’t get to play with a couple of top Twins prospects as Royce Lewis was shipped to the Cubs after the 2023 season, and Jordan Balazovic went to the Yankees in 2025. I found myself interested in how Buxton’s final years would go, so there was a need to play out the string of his career. When reaching free agency for the first time, Buxton was handed a qualifying offer from the Twins. He hit the market as the best available centerfielder. Buxton opted to remain with Minnesota on a one-year deal worth $9.5 million when the dust settled. Another year of regression for Buxton at age-35 had him playing in just 71 games and bottoming out to the tune of a .391 OPS. He now has dropped to an 81 overall talent and enters the free agency market with significantly depressed value. He’s competing for a payday against top players such as Gabriel Maciel, the Twins prospect who was traded to Kansas City in 2022 and put up a 4.6 WAR season in 2028. Maciel wound up signing a six-year $116.4 million deal with the Diamondbacks. Royce Lewis also hit free agency for the first time this season, and San Diego inked the 88 overall 29-year-old to a four-year deal worth $56 million. Despite having 26 and 33-year-old centerfielders who are better, the Los Angeles Angels gave Buxton a one-year deal worth $4.2 million for his age-36 season. Byron played just 25 games for the Angels before his release. He bounced back from the disastrous end in Minnesota and posted a .796 OPS, but the opportunities weren’t there. Now looking at free agency as a 37-year-old, Buxton had to convince a team he still had something in the tank with his overall dropping to 76. Unsigned heading into Opening Day, this looked like it could be the end of the road. Ultimately no suitor presented themselves, and after sitting out the 2031 calendar season, that’s where Minnesota’s mega-star would call it quits. Buxton retired following the conclusion of the World Series. For his career, Buxton compiled 14.160 years of service time and had a slash line of .232/.295/.422. He ripped 204 homers and stole exactly 200 bases while recording 62 triples. His 37.3 WAR would be good enough for 66th best among centerfielders all-time per Fangraphs. While not having a Hall of Fame-caliber resume, it’s certainly fair to deduce that MLB The Show sees Byron Buxton contributing as a star for many more years. Coincidentally, there was another superstar outfielder that retired in 2031 as well. He was an immediate induction into the Hall of Fame with 601 career homers. Congrats Mr. Trout. What do you think? Would you sign up for this type of trajectory Twins fans? MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  3. In recent years, the Twins have tried to utilize a variety of strategies to keep Byron Buxton healthy. Unfortunately, those mitigation strategies didn't work last season as a hamstring and hip injury slowed down his torrid start to the season. Shortly after returning from those injuries, he was hit by a pitch and broke his hand. Buxton's injury history is complex, and it's one of the reasons the Twins were able to sign him to an incentive-based contract. Now that Buxton is under contract, how can the Twins keep him on the field and off the injured list? Tone It Down Some of Buxton's previous injuries included smashing into the wall or making diving grabs. His all-or-nothing approach in the outfield is one of the reasons he is considered one of baseball's best defenders. Previously, he and the Twins have worked on him toning down his defensive style, but this isn't an easy feat. When Buxton hears the crack of the bat, his natural instincts are to go and track down the ball. Taking a toned-down approach may help Buxton as he ages and starts to lose a step. For now, the Twins can try a few other methods to keep him on the field. Jumping at the Wall Another well-reported strategy was the Twins coaching staff working with Buxton on his jumping at the wall. Buxton's all-out approach usually saw him jumping off one leg and crashing violently into the wall. His new approach was to work on jumping off two legs, which puts him in more control of his body at the wall. In theory, this sounds great, but sometimes the results aren't perfect. However, the two-legged approach also slows down his momentum, and this may cause him to miss catches he made in the past. This approach gives him more control at the wall, however, which can keep him healthy. Outfield Positioning Buxton's positioning in the outfield is another area that has changed significantly throughout his big-league career. From 2016-2018, Buxton's average depth from home plate was 314 feet. He has moved further away from home plate in each of the last three seasons, including last season where his average depth was 331 feet. Being deeper means Buxton has less time to build up momentum as he heads toward the wall to make a catch. He also has the speed to come up and make catches in front of him. Last season, Buxton's average outfield depth was the highest in baseball among outfielders with at least 2,000 defensive plate appearances in center field. Boston's Enrique Hernandez was the next closest center fielder, and he averaged three feet closer than Buxton. Regular Rest Since taking over as manager, Rocco Baldelli has stressed the importance of rest and recovery for his players. He revamped the team's spring training regimen to give players the time they need to prepare. Heck, the Twins even built a nap room to keep Nelson Cruz prepared to mash baseballs. Giving Buxton more regular days off can be something the team considers, but none of his injuries seem tied to his body wearing down on him. Baldelli saw his career shortened by injuries, and he empathized with Buxton after breaking his hand last season. He said, "I think the number of traumas, physically, that he's had to deal with, and because of that, emotionally, when you have to deal with that many types of things, difficult things, it's hard on you." Maybe it's a lost cause, and injuries are always going to find a way to impact Buxton. However, utilizing various strategies may keep him in the line-up on a more regular basis or at least minimize his time on the injured list. Which of these strategies is going to keep Buxton on the field? Any other ideas? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  4. One of our friends at Twins Daily, Shea McGinnity, summed it up best. The last 48 hours have likely been the most intense and exciting period of baseball free agency in the sport’s history. Twins fandom is understandably elated at Byron Buxton signing a 7-year, $100 million extension which keeps him a Twin for life. Yet, something feels like it’s missing. Oh, right, the starting pitching. The Twins don’t have much to speak of, and the starting pitching free agent market has been decimated in a pre-lockout financial feeding frenzy In the last 48 hours, Jon Gray, Kevin Gausman, Robbie Ray, and Max Scherzer have all signed hefty to record-breaking free-agent contracts. The remaining free-agent starters, using Aaron Gleeman’s Top 25 list at The Athletic, looks thin. Marcus Stroman and Carlos Rodon are the top names remaining. Clayton Kershaw isn’t signing with the Twins. Alex Wood and Alex Cobb are rumored to be signing with the Giants. That leaves Michael Pineda, Danny Duffy, Zack Grienke, Yusei Kikuchi, and Dylan Bundy. The mounting frustration for Twins fans lies in the discrepancy between the front office’s end-of-season rhetoric and their extreme lethargy in the recent free-agent frenzy. All indications from Derek Falvey suggested the Twins were ready to compete in 2022. The Twins front office exists in a challenging tension. They want to establish themselves as an organization that consistently competes through developing its own pitching. Until that labor bears fruit, fans are left to lust after free agent signings that will never come to pass. The Twins organization does not sign pitchers to hefty contracts. With that said, let’s examine some options for how they might strengthen their pitching staff via trade, starting with the Cincinnati Reds. Over the next three weeks, I’ll be profiling the three organizations the Twins should be looking to trade with for starting pitching. I’ll take into account their likely cost, performance, and future contract to rank options 1-3 for each organization. By all accounts, the Reds are open for business. They have an array of excellent MLB pitching, are undergoing organizational change (such as the departure of former pitching coordinator Kyle Boddy) and a good farm system that could use the addition of close to MLB ready bats. Sonny Gray Sonny Gray should be one of the Twins’ primary trade targets currently. In the midst of a 3-year, $32 million contract which runs through 2023, Gray has been worth, on average 2.5 fWAR over his last five seasons. Gray has maintained excellent peripherals and a strong K% throughout his late twenties and early thirties. He fits the profile of a starting pitcher, who the Twins wouldn’t have to give up multiple of their best prospects for, who could start a playoff game for Minnesota. Potential trade: Twins trade RHP Jordan Balazovic and C Ryan Jeffers to the Reds for RHP Sonny Gray. Tyler Mahle Tyler Mahle is best known to Twins fans as the pitcher who broke Byron Buxton’s hand this season but had a quiet breakout year for the Reds. Mahle profiles more similarly to Gray, both in stuff and cost, but has age on his side at just 27. Mahle sported a 27.7% K% in 2021 to go along with a 3.80 FIP, and 3.84 fWAR. Mahle, like Luis Castillo, is not a free agent until 2024. Potential Trade: Twins trade INF Luis Arraez and RHP Matt Canterino to the Reds for RHP Tyler Mahle. Luis Castillo Luis Castillo is by far the best of the three Reds options and by far the most expensive, which is why I am ranking him last. Castillo has excellent velocity (97 mph fastball), a devastating changeup, and doesn’t hit free agency until 2024. The asking price on Castillo has been reported to be incredibly high, which it should be for a starting pitcher you would feel confident in leading a good number of MLB rotations. It seems unlikely the Twins would trade for Castillo given the cost. Potential trade: The Twins trade SS Royce Lewis and OF Max Kepler to the Reds for RHP Luis Castillo. Do you agree with my ranking? What would you offer in a trade with Cincinnati? Which of their starting pitchers appeals to you the most?
  5. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine needed to extend Byron Buxton. It was paramount for the franchise. The organization preached Target Field being a vehicle to keep homegrown talent, and Jose Berrios had already departed. Losing Buxton would’ve opened the door to the flip side of Joe Mauer’s situation, and having the power to negotiate singularly with a mega-talent on depressed dollars was unfathomable. Thankfully they pulled through and agreed. Seven years, $100 million. He’s here to stay. Now, what’s next? I’m the “freaking offseason” guy, and if there’s a way for Minnesota to have anything but this winter, it’s by failing to complete these two tasks: 1. Spending Must Remain Constant Derek Falvey and Thad Levine took over the Twins front office for the 2017 Major League Baseball season. The 2016 Twins were coming off a disastrous 103-loss campaign, and organizational upheaval was afoot. Roster turnover immediately began, and despite being saddled with Paul Molitor as an incumbent manager, the front office spent to the tune of $100.7 million, slightly behind the $104 million a year prior. A step backward is expected when competitiveness wanes. However, the opposite is true when you’re on an upswing, even when results are not necessarily indicative of expectations. After winning 85 games in 2017 and finishing second in the AL Central, Minnesota spent roughly $125 million for the 2018 season. A new franchise record payroll had been established. That team failed to live up to expectations. Despite finishing second in the division, they were 78-84 on the year. Falvey and Levine saw what they had and needed to push forward. Welcome to the Bomba Squad. The 2019 Twins pushed the payroll north of $125 million and were one of the best teams in franchise history. Setting a single-season record for home runs, this group was bounced early from the Postseason but looked poised for more. Covid then gave us a truncated 2020 season, and owners suggested revenues were down. While they may not have turned the same profit, the assumption should be that many organizations still operated in the green. The Twins signed veteran Josh Donaldson to a $100 million contract before Spring Training and essentially held serve from where their 2019 spend ended. For 2021 the commentary was about decreased payrolls for owners to make up the lost dollars. The Twins cut back to $118 million, just over a 5% decrease from the year prior. Regardless of the misstep in record, it’s clear that this club is on the precipice. Donaldson is here for two more seasons. Buxton has been locked up to a ridiculously affordable pact. The prospects are near the top of the system, and the graduations have all been meaningful ones. It’s time to take another step forward this season and push the bottom line. A bare minimum spend for Minnesota this season should be $130 million. Going to $135 or even $140 million makes a good deal of sense as well. They’d have to splurge pretty heavily to account for that amount, but the rotation remains bare, and a top free agent could certainly be had. That brings us to the second point. 2. Allocate the Berrios Dollars There’s no denying that Minnesota easily could’ve matched the seven-year, $131 million deal that Jose Berrios just got from the Toronto Blue Jays. That’s hardly bank-breaking and would’ve been an excellent opportunity to keep their homegrown talent. The problem seems to be in length; this front-office isn’t giving a pitcher anything over five years. So be it, that’s a fine and understandable stance considering the uncertainty that comes with arms (even if Berrios has been an incredibly durable one). What that means is the money needs to be ticketed elsewhere and on the same scale. $18 million per year is roughly what Berrios got from Toronto. I’m not interested in types like J.A. Happ and Michael Pineda combining to make that money. A true frontline starter has to be acquired in hopes of carrying Berrios’ load. Understandably, the name may come via trade, be under team control, and cost more in prospect capital than dollars. Should that be the case, a strong foot forward for starters number two and three should be shown. This front office has to be willing to overpay on shorter deals if they’re unwilling to hand out the length of their competitors. Last season the largest misstep was acquiring arms filling the back of the rotation rather than finding a middle-to-upper tier talent that could bolster the top half. Pineda would be a nice get to return, but he should be the worst starter they acquire. The goal needs to be setting Bailey Ober and Joe Ryan up for no more than a 4th and 5th option in a competition as we careen towards Opening Day. Falvey has established an infrastructure that supports talented arms when they’re available. Minnesota’s starters ranked 5th and 7th in 2020 and 2019 by fWAR, and that was without a splash for Wes Johnson. Go get him a great piece or two and let him work. Is there’s another area that’s a must this offseason for you to believe in the 2022 Twins chances? Any deal breakers for you? MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  6. Twins Territory can finally take a sigh of relief as late Sunday afternoon multiple sources announced Byron Buxton’s seven-year, $100 million extension with the Minnesota Twins. Buxton’s extension ensures that the Twins will not have to worry about pursuing a new starting center fielder for a long time. However, there is still the likelihood Buxton could miss playing time with an injury in 2022. With Buxton’s injury history still a concern for many, even after this contract extension, the Twins will be weighing their options on who will get the most playing time in centerfield when Buxton is not playing. Right now the Twins have three possible internal choices to back up Buxton when he is not playing in centerfield whether due to injury or a day off from the field. The first option is Max Kepler. Kepler has totaled 84 games in centerfield since 2019 and both he and the Twins front office are looking for him to spend less time in center and more time at his primary position, right field. This does not rule out that Kepler won’t play center field at all in 2022. It’s just more likely that another player will be seen there more often. The next likely player to see playing time in center field behind Buxton is Jake Cave. The majority of Cave’s 281 career games have been played in center field and now that the Twins have signed him to a Major League contract for the 2022 season, there could be an increase in his playing time. Cave’s 2021 season was abysmal at best and one that both he and Twins fans want to put behind them. It is likely, at this time, that Cave will be the primary backup to Buxton in centerfield to start 2022. One other option within the Twins organization, and on the 40-man roster, that could see playing time in center field for the team in 2022 is Gilberto Celestino. Celestino’s brief time with the Twins in 2021 did help the team defensively in Buxton’s absence. Yet Celestino showed he is not ready to face major-league pitching. In his time with the club last season, he had eight hits in just 59 at-bats. Celestino will still need time to develop his hitting with the St. Paul Saints in 2022. If his hitting continues to improve, as it did in Triple-A in 2021, it could provide another chance for him to play in center for the Twins in 2022. There is a fourth option currently in the Twins minor league system that is hopeful to make his MLB debut in 2022 and could see playing time in center field if he does get called up. That is Austin Martin. The timeframe on when the Twins second-best prospect could make his MLB debut is still uncertain. Martin split time between center field and shortstop following his trade to the Twins organization near the July deadline. He played 46 games in center and 43 at short for the Wichita Wind Surge. Martin’s primary position may be tweaked by the Twins following the Buxton extension, but if he does get called up in 2022, that won’t rule out any playing time he could see in center field with the Twins. Buxton’s extension with the Twins doesn’t dismiss the fact that the Twins won’t try to add more depth to the outfield either. A utility player like Danny Santana or super-utility player such as Chris Taylor could be options for the Twins to still pursue. Taylor and Santana are examples of players who aren’t primarily center fielders yet can still fill in holes for the Twins at other positions where they’re needed such as shortstop. Taylor would be the perfect fit for the Twins because he can play shortstop and back up Buxton in center. Santana, not so much. Santana has only played 12 games at shortstop since the start of the 2016 season and many more games at almost every other position, including center field. The great take away from the Buxton extension is that the Twins organization can be comfortable with a star centerfielder once again playing out his career with the Twins. Buxton’s injury history does warrant a need to have depth in center field. The Twins have solid options to work within the organization, but they could still pursue options outside their system to help ensure Buxton has the right players supporting him in center field when he isn’t playing.
  7. It finally happened. The Twins have signed Byron Buxton to a huge deal, $100 million deal over seven years and a bunch more incentives per Ken Rosenthal. Twins fans are very excited right now, but not every big contract pays off. While this is an excellent deal for the Twins and exciting for the fan base, it is more than fair to be concerned about the health of Buxton and how much time he can stay on the field. Buxton has only appeared in over 100 games once in his career. That was in 2017, when he appeared in 140 games. $15 million per year with incentives is not an insufficient salary for a player who has trouble staying on the field. While this investment could work out for the Twins, it could also go wrong if Buxton doesn't stay healthy. When Buxton is healthy, he is easily the best player on the field and in the lineup. He’s made clutch catches and his batting average in 61 games this year was .306 . He made those 61 games count. The incentive for him to stay healthy? $500K each for reaching 502, 533, 567, 600, and 625 plate appearances. It is an incentive to stay healthy. The gamble is Buxton is like other players who have had outstanding years and been an asset to their team. This article is not meant to say that Buxton is not an asset, or will not fulfill the contract. When he is on the field, he is a solid asset to the team. He is a hard-nosed player who rehabs hard and does go all out. The concern of this writer, and some other fans, is that larger deals with players who are prone to injury can be exciting while still being concerning. Some players got long-term, big contracts and then busted after the ink had dried. Here are three such examples: Gary Matthews Jr had an outstanding year with the Rangers in 2005. He hit .313 and drove in 79 runs with 19 home runs. The Angels liked what they saw and offered him five years and $65 million. He was barely productive with the Angels posting a .248 hitting average, ten home runs, and totaled just 55 RBI in three seasons. The contract amount is comparable to what we are looking at in terms of length and desired production for Buxton. Jeffrey Hammonds signed a three-year, $21 million deal with the Brewers. In 2001 that was a fairly large deal but it wasn’t the largest or craziest. Milwaukee saw Hammonds hit.335 and drive in over 100 runs while posting an OPS over .900 the year before. Hammonds only played 49 games due to injuries in 2001 and never lived up to his contract or potential. Looking for an example with the Twins? Well, the largest contract the Twins have signed was with Joe Mauer. He was coming off of an MVP season and a year away from free agency. At the time, the Yankees and Red Sox likely would have been competing for his services, so the Twins didn’t let him get to free agency. They locked him up for eight years and $184 million. The Twins were about to move into Target Field and the local boy turned future Hall of Famer had to be retained. Was he worth the $184 million during that contract? No. He fought some knee injuries and a concussion that altered the trajectory of his career. He struggled some and had to switch positions. Like Mauer a dozen years ago, the Twins could not afford to lose Byron Buxton this offseason. Of course, the ultimate hope would be to see Buxton have an inverse career to that of Mauer. Buxton has fought injuries before signing his nine-figure deal. Hopefully he will be able to remain healthy after signing the deal. The Twins are signing Buxton based on his previous field production and his immense talent and ceiling, but also considering his on-field time missed. There have been notable times when players have been signed and gone downhill. The contract shows that the Twins have the means to make big contracts happen. Not all large contracts are bad. The Twins certainly are showing us that they are willing and able to make commitments to players and I believe this is a good sign for the organization and fans alike. I know there is still plenty of time left and about $50 million left, so now with Buck locked in and a good outfield roster, we can focus on putting that money into pitching - both starters and relief. While I am cautious about what this will mean for the Twins in the long run and the team if they have to continually cover for Buxton if his injurious state does not improve, it is proof that the organization is willing to do what it takes to retain players. The fans who were putting all their hopes into the organization, I just hope it’s enough. Now we can take a quick sigh of relief and hope the Twins make some pitching moves that will help the team in 2022 and beyond. But will they sign anyone before the CBA comes to an end and signings will be on a freeze.
  8. Following back-to-back division titles, expectations were high for the 2011 Minnesota Twins. Unfortunately, things couldn't have gone much worse for that club, as they were one of the most disappointing teams in franchise history. The team lost 99 games and "earned" the second overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. With the draft approaching, multiple names had been tied to the Twins, but Bryon Buxton was a player that was tough to ignore. Baseball America ranked him as the top prospect in the draft even though there were questions about the level of competition he faced throughout high school. Minnesota gave Buxton a $6 million signing bonus, which was $1.2 million higher than any other player in the draft. Plenty of hype followed Buxton in his pro debut. He struggled out of the gate with the GCL Twins as he went 19-for-88 (.216 BA), but he got on base over 32% of the time. He also showed more power than expected, with 11 of his 19 hits being for extra bases. He was promoted to Elizabethton and hit .286/.368/.429 (.796) with eight extra-base hits in 21 games. It clearly looked like some of the questions surrounding him in the draft were starting to be answered. Buxton emphatically answered any remaining questions during the 2013 minor league season. As a 19-year-old, he split time between Low- and High-A, destroying the ball at both levels. He finished the year hitting .334/.424/.520 (.944) with 49 extra-base hits in 125 games. Oh yeah, he stole 55 bases too. Buxton had established himself as the game's best prospect, and the organization wanted to see how he stacked up against some of baseball's other top prospects. Following the season, Buxton made his first trip to the Arizona Fall League. In 12 games, he went 11-for-52 (.212) with three home runs and a double. However, he injured his non-throwing shoulder and missed the rest of the AFL season. Even with the abrupt end to his AFL campaign, the accolades started to roll in. Baseball America named Buxton their 2013 Minor League Player of the Year. He entered the 2014 season as the consensus top prospect by all three national rankings. Baseball America said his "combination of tools and production made him the talk of the minor leagues" in their 2014 Prospect Handbook. After a standout 2013 campaign, things got off to a rough start in 2014. Buxton suffered a wrist injury in spring training and started the season on the injured list. He played 30 games with Fort Myers to ease himself back into action. However, Buxton suffered a concussion in his first game at Double-A, and his season was done. He ended the year with a .702 OPS and a return ticket to the AFL. However, he was limited to 13 games after dislocating a finger while diving for a ball. It was time for an offseason to get healthy. Baseball America being the only national ranking to drop him out of the top spot entering the 2015 season. The 2015 season was Buxton's first shot to prove himself in the upper levels of the minors. In 59 games at Double-A, he hit .283/.351/.489 (.840) with 25 extra-base hits and 20 steals. His bat looked like it was ready for baseball's highest level, and the Twins called him up for his big-league debut in June. At the time, Minnesota was light on outfielders. Aaron Hicks was suffering from a right elbow injury and Torii Hunter was serving a two-game suspension. Buxton went 7-for-37 (.189) with two extra-base hits in 11 games before suffering a sprained left thumb that cost him two months of the season. When he was healthy, the Twins sent him to Rochester to find his swing. At Triple-A, he was nearly six years younger than the average age of the competition. He batted .400/.441/.545 (.986) with five extra-base hits in 13 games. On August 20, Minnesota recalled him, and he finished the season with a .606 OPS over his final 28 games. He entered the next season as baseball's number two overall prospect and Minnesota's Opening Day center fielder. It's hard to know when Minnesota will have another prospect of the same caliber as Buxton. He, along with Joe Mauer, are the only players in franchise history to be named Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year. Twins fans saw Minnesota keep Mauer on a long-term deal, and now Buxton has followed in Mauer's footsteps. What do you remember most about Buxton as a prospect? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  9. The New York Post’s Joel Sherman also listed the Tigers, San Francisco Giants, Rangers and Angels as suitors for Ray’s services, and previously the Red Sox and Blue Jays had been mentioned. However, it’s worth noting that several of these teams have already signed free agent pitchers this offseason, perhaps limiting their interest. For instance, the Blue Jays reportedly now have an agreement with another of the other four premier pitchers on this list, Kevin Gausman. On the other hand, who wouldn’t want to add Ray? Last year he posted a 2.84 ERA over 193.1 innings, striking out 11.5 per nine innings. Most importantly, the 30-year-old’s career struggles with his control completely disappeared: he walked only 2.4 batters per nine innings, after averaging 5.1 per nine from 2018-2020. If the Twins want to play, they’ll need to pay. MLBTradeRumors predicted Ray would receive a $130M contract, 5-year deal on the open market. Given some of the other contracts we’re seeing, that estimate may be a little high, but any deal would certainly exceed $100M. What’s more, they’ll also likely need to move fast. The two premier pitchers who are at least very close to greements - Gausman and Max Scherzer - have done so in in the last 24 hours as teams and players scramble to get something done before MLB's Collective Bargaining Agreement expires on Wednesday. It is widely anticipate that event will lead to a work stoppage, effectively killing the offseason market for both sides. That urgency is further heightened by concerns that normally mundane details, like getting physicals done, will need to be completed by then for contracts to be valid. The Twins entered the offseason with at least three spots in their starting rotation to fill, and as of yet have not signed any free agents. They did, however, reach an agreement yesterday with star center fielder Byron Buxton on a 7-year extension. But starting pitching remains the team’s biggest need, and the available arms are dwindling fast. Even beyond the top four arms, other highly attractive targets like Noah Syndegaard, Justin Verlander, Eduardo Rodriguez, Anthony Desclafini and many others have signed within the last two weeks.
  10. 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!
  11. The Twins have already made several transactions that have altered their list of arbitration-eligible players. Early in November, the Twins decided to put right-handed pitcher John Gant on waivers. When he cleared, he elected to become a free agent. Gant came to the Twins at the July trade deadline as part of the J.A. Happ trade. He was set to make approximately $3.7 million in his final season of arbitration. Outfielder Rob Refsnyder played like a Legend for a while after the Twins called him up, even playing a lot of center field. However, after a couple of injuries, including a concussion, he wasn’t able to repeat that performance. The minor league veteran was projected to make about $800,000, but the Twins DFAd him this month too. It became a talker, but the Twins signed outfielder Jake Cave to a one-year, $800,000 deal for 2022. Like all arbitration deals, it isn’t completely guaranteed. Finally, just last week, the Twins DFAd the fan-favorite, Williams Astudillo. Set to make a projected 2022 salary around $1.2 million in his first arbitration season. Since he hasn’t hit since his debut season in 2018 and has little defensive value, it was an easy decision to remove him from the roster and after he cleared waivers, they simply released him. And then the Twins claimed right-handed pitcher Jharel Cotton from the Texas Rangers in early November. Let’s take a look at him and the other arbitration-eligible Twins players that the Twins have a decision to make before Tuesday’s deadline. (in alphabetical order, note: age on April 1, 2022) LUIS ARRAEZ - UT (24) Service Time: 2 years, 121 days Arbitration Year: 1st of 4 MLB Trade Rumors Projection: $2 million Twins Daily Offseason Handbook Prediction: $1.5 million Why Tender? Though Arraez struggled late in 2021 and ended out with a batting average below .300 for the first time in his professional career. He can play in left field and second base, and actually had a solid season playing third base in 2021. On the other side of his case, he had several IL trips again due to his knees and legs. Likelihood to be Tendered: 10 Summary: Just over the weekend, we learned that MLB had set the “Super 2” line at 2.116 (two years, 116 days) service time. Fortunately, the Twins' brass doesn't need to spend much time thinking about whether or not to tender a 2022 contract to Arraez. It's a given. What is his future with the organization? Could he be traded? If not, what position will he play, or will he continue to play all around the diamond? All to be figured out... after that contract is tendered on Tuesday. BYRON BUXTON - CF (28) Service Time: 5 years, 160 days Arbitration Year: 4th of 4 MLB Trade Rumors Projection: $7.3 million Twins Daily Offseason Handbook Prediction: $8 million Why Tender? Because he’s Byron Buxton. Because his 2022 salary will be minimal relative to the value he will and has provided. Because they can then continue negotiating a potential long-term deal. Because even if they don’t reach a deal, he can easily be traded for a very nice return. Likelihood to be Tendered (1 unlikely to 10 very likely): 10. Easy choice. Summary: This one will require very little thought. What happens beyond tendering hims a 2022 contract has been the topic of debate for the past six months. JHAREL COTTON - RHP (30) Service Time: 3 years, 52 days Arbitration Year: 1st of 3 MLB Trade Rumors Projection: $1.2 million Twins Daily Offseason Handbook Prediction: N/A Why Tender? Because he showed some good stuff out of the Rangers bullpen in his return to the big leagues following Tommy John surgery. Because of what he had shown as a starter in Oakland early in his career. Because he’s got a good fastball, but a great changeup. Likelihood to be Tendered: 5 Summary: There are reasons to believe that Cotton could be a solid middle-relief pitcher option, and who knows, maybe the Twins think that he could be healthy enough to get back to starting and be an option for a back of the Twins rotation too. However, the Twins may also ask for Cotton to agree to a 1 year, $900,000 or $1 million deal, and if he accepts, great. If not, non-tendered and he becomes a free agent. DANNY COULOMBE - LHP (32) Service Time: 3 years, 8 days Arbitration Year: 1st of 3 MLB Trade Rumors Projection: $800,000 Twins Daily Offseason Handbook Prediction: $1 million Why Tender? Coulombe isn’t an exciting pitcher, but he’s long been a solid MLB left-handed reliever, and he pitched well for the Twins in the second half. Had quite a bit of MLB success before injury including being used very often for Oakland for a couple of seasons. He is very similar to Caleb Thielbar, so again, is it necessary to have another lefty in a ‘pen that already should include Thielbar and Taylor Rogers, with Jovani Moran in the near-ready position as well? Likelihood to Tender: 6 Summary: Coulombe has been better than most Twins fans probably think. He’s just solid with limited upside. For $800,000, little reason not to tender him. That said, they may do what they did with Thielbar a year ago and lock him up to a deal below projection. TYLER DUFFEY - RHP (31) Service Time: 5 years, 74 days Arbitration Year: 3rd of 3 MLB Trade Rumors Projection: $3.7 million Twins Daily Offseason Handbook Prediction: $3.5 million Why Tender? Duffey’s velocity may have been down a little bit in 2021, but he still put up solid numbers. He ranked right up there with the top relievers in baseball over the past three seasons. Hasn’t received many Save opportunities, which certainly keeps his arbitration salary down, but he’s been used in high-leverage situations. Can they reach an agreement on a one-year deal before an arbitration hearing? Could they look to lock up Duffey for two or three seasons? (maybe a two-year, $7 million deal, or even a three-year, $12 million deal). Likelihood to Tender: 9 Summary: Another easy decision because even if things go poorly, he should have some trade value so non-tendering makes no sense. With so many question marks in the Twins bullpen, losing Duffey would make things even more difficult. MITCH GARVER - C (31) Service Time: 4 years, 45 days Arbitration Year: 2nd of 3 MLB Trade Rumors Projection: $3.1 million Twins Daily Offseason Handbook Prediction: $3.5 million Why Tender? Remember his 2019 season? Well, after a poor April, Garver returned to that high-level, 2019 form for much of the rest of the season. The lone concern is an injury history that really hurt him in 2020, but also a couple of times during the 2021 season. Garver’s name shows up in some trade rumors this offseason, and teams would likely line up if the Twins made it known he was available. Likelihood to Tender: 10 Summary; An easy decision to tender him a contract. Likely a much more intense conversation has likely occurred regarding the future of the Twins catcher position. While the idea of a Garver/Ryan Jeffers even split of playing time makes a ton of sense in theory, would it work in reality? Or, could the fact that they have both of them, along with Ben Rortvedt in Triple-A and clearly the best defensive catcher of the three, maybe one could be dealt in the offseason for some pitching. None of that alters how easy the decision will be to tender Garver. JUAN MINAYA - RHP (31) Service Time: 2 years, 140 days Arbitration Year: 1st of 3 MLB Trade Rumors Projection: $1.1 million Twins Daily Offseason Handbook Prediction: $1 million Why Tender? Minaya came up to the Twins in the season’s second half and really performed well. He showed good life on his pitches and was put into some big situations. The interesting thing is that he pitched much better for the Twins than he did in his time with the Saints. He had some good years with the White Sox. He has had some control issues in his career, but he’s also very capable of racking up strikeouts. Likelihood to Tender: 6 Summary: Minaya was certainly a nice surprise for the Twins in the second half of the season, but was that enough to tender a seven-digit deal? Like Cotton and Coulombe, it might be another case where the Twins offer him $900,000 to $1 million for 2022, and if he takes it, great. If not, he can be non-tendered. TAYLOR ROGERS - LHP (31) Service Time: 5 years, 145 days Arbitration Year: 4th of 4 MLB Trade Rumors Projection: $6.7 million Twins Daily Offseason Handbook Prediction: $7 million Why Tender? I think we would start with the fact that he has been one of the best relievers in baseball over the past four or five seasons. Aside from some struggles in the shortened-2020 season, he’s been very good. He also has been very healthy until his late-July finder injury that cost him the final two months of the 2022 season. The lone question regarding Rogers will be how he recovers and returns from the finger injury since he did not have surgery. Likelihood to Tender: 9 Summary: Another easy choice. Reports indicated that teams were still interested in trading for Rogers, even after he got hurt. They certainly can trade him in the offseason or in July should they choose to do so. I personally think there should also be extension thoughts with Rogers. He’s become a leader on the team, and has earned it based on production. Of course, Aaron Loup getting two years and $17 million might tell us that Rogers should get quite a bit more than that. However, I would offer him a three-year, $24 million deal with an option at $9 million for a fourth year. CALEB THIELBAR - LHP (35) Service Time: 3 years, 131 days Arbitration Year: 2nd of 4 MLB Trade Rumors Projection: $1.2 million Twins Daily Offseason Handbook Prediction: $1.5 million Why Tender? By the end of the 2021 season, the Minnesota native was Rocco Baldelli and Wes Johnson’s most relied upon, if not reliable, bullpen arm. He really increased his ability to miss bats. His fastball sat between 91 and 95 mph, and that slow, 68 mph curveball is a good pitch to go with a strong slider. Likelihood to Tender: 8 Summary: Another easy choice. Just offer it to him, work on a good deal and call it good. Because of his age and that he’s got a few more seasons before free agency, there is no reason to do anything but go year-to-year with him. How long will the Twins be able to keep Thielbar away from a college coaching career? Your turn. If you’re in charge, would you tender contracts to all of these players? What kind of deals would you like to see? Discuss.
  12. Roxy, a 5-year-old dog in a festive Christmas sweater, has two messages this holiday season. “I would very much like a treat, and the Minnesota Twins should sign Byron Buxton to an extension,” said Roxy. The dog, a Staffordshire bull terrier, hopes the gaudy garment draws attention to her message. “Everyone sees a dog in an ugly sweater and they lose their damn minds,” said Roxy. “Now that I have their attention, I can get them to see the golden opportunity of a long-term deal for one of the game’s dynamic talents. Make no mistake, I hate wearing people clothes and go to great lengths to avoid it, including carpet urination and defiling stuffed animals. But this is important.” Roxy said Buxton’s extensive injury history, while a concern, was outweighed by the center fielder’s overall game. “In the field he saves your starting pitcher a run every game,” said the dog, pausing to bark at the doorbell for 45 seconds before continuing. “And his offense has finally caught up to his elite defense. He hit 19 home runs in 60 games last year. This is the rare chance for a team like Minnesota to retain a superstar in his prime oh my god A BUNNY RABBIT!” Roxy observed a rabbit in the backyard, tore out the doggy door, and unsuccessfully chased it around the backyard. She wandered back into the house. “As I was saying, Buxton’s health actually affords the Twins a chance to get him on an affordable, incentive-laden deal,” said the dog, catching her breath. “If he had been healthy and producing like he did for 162 games in 2021, the price tag would have given the Pohlads a nosebleed.” Roxy noted that she also “did her business” while protecting the household from the bunny threat, and said you should clean it up before one of the kids stepped in it. She ended the interview to go nap in a sunbeam for three hours.
  13. As we enter the final week of November, it was recently announced that the deadline to tender arbitration-eligible players would be pushed to November 30. This gives free agents a day to sign before the expected December 2 lockout. While many will wait through the labor strife, players have the option to strike a deal in the 24 hours between the two deadlines. With relation to Buxton, it’s a certainty that Minnesota will tender the star centerfielder a contract. Entering his final year of arbitration, MLB Trade Rumors projects Buxton’s 2022 salary to come in just north of $7 million. At the very least, the Twins will come to terms with the Baxley, Georgia native on those grounds. What’s more interesting is the dates that loom large in the future and the belief that Buxton’s situation will be resolved before the commencement of the 2022 regular season. Here are some key dates to circle and what they mean: November 30th - Arbitration Tender Deadline This one jumps out as the most important. As highlighted above, Buxton will be tendered a contract, and there’s zero doubt about that. Avoiding arbitration doesn’t mean that the sides can’t still reach an agreement on an extension, but simply that Byron knows what he will be paid in the year ahead. It’d be ideal for both sides to hammer out the extension before this point and extend the player to a multi-year deal that buys out free agency years. December 2nd - Current CBA Expired Should nothing more be accomplished than a contract for 2022 being agreed to, the two sides will have 24 more hours to negotiate. December 1st is the final day covered by the current Major League Baseball Collective Bargaining Agreement. At 11:59 pm Eastern Time, the current CBA becomes void, and the lockout begins. Both parties can continue working towards a conclusion of this saga or leave each other hanging for whatever duration the labor limbo hangs on for. Both teams and players may have different parameters to deal with following the ratification of a new CBA. Still, little of it should impact Buxton, who is already in the final year of arbitration eligibility. February 26th, 2022 - Spring Training Begins As things stand now, this is where Minnesota opens the 2022 exhibition slate against the Toronto Blue Jays down in Florida. More often, the regular season is a hard deadline for contract negotiations to be completed by. Still, both sides could look at Spring Training being a key date given Buxton’s injury history. Wanting to have something done before actual action gets underway makes a good deal of sense. Obviously, this date is tentative given the uncertainty of where a lockout takes us. I’d imagine the league and player’s association are more open to losing Spring Training games than they are actual regular-season games that count. April 2nd, 2022 - Opening Day If there’s a hard deadline established, this would seem to be it. Minnesota can’t afford to go into the regular season without clarity on Buxton’s future. If he’s not extended by this date, the alternative of trading him has to become a reality. Given the volatility of his playstyle and injury history, risking the asset depreciation before the trade deadline would be a fruitless endeavor. Again, this date could be moved with respect to the CBA situation, but it’s almost a given that whenever the regular season starts, Twins fans will know the fate of Byron Buxton. July 31st, 2022 - Trade Deadline Should we reach this point with no clarity, the front office will have massively overplayed their hand. Not only having failed to extend the talented centerfielder, we could be talking about a player with a few months of lackluster performance or an injury that drags down his trade value. Without a long-term deal in place here, the opposition understands Minnesota is set to move on in the winter. Draft pick compensation may not be what it is now, and regardless, it would be a sad return for someone that should’ve commanded so much more. That should be the complete timeline for dates to follow regarding this Buxton-saga. The longer it drags on, the more hopeless the outcome looks. I’d wager we see finality before the commencement of Spring Training, and having something done far sooner than that would be a much-welcomed reality. The Twins have an opportunity to pay a generational talent because he’s been injured. It’d be silly to balk at that, but if they’re going to, they best get it right, and soon. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  14. However, Buxton’s body, which has blessed him with his many talents, is also his greatest curse. Since becoming the Minnesota Twins’ full-time center fielder in 2016, Buxton has appeared in a mere 447 of a possible 870 games (51.3%) due to myriad injuries. And yet, over that span, he has produced 12.8 fWAR, has averaged 133.3 wRC+ since 2019, and won one Platinum Glove. In short, when healthy, Byron Buxton has performed like an MVP candidate. But the Jekyll and Hyde nature of their star player — who is due to become a free agent after the 2022 season — has placed the Twins in a profound predicament: Do they try to extend Buxton and build around him, or trade him as part of a greater re-tooling project (one that was arguably initiated with the shipping of Jose Berrios to the Toronto Blue Jays)? For all intents and purposes, it appears as though both Buxton and the Twins have interest in inking a long-term deal. However, recent reporting by The Athletic suggests that the two sides remain at an impasse. The Twins reportedly offered Buxton a 7-year, $80 million deal laden with incentives in July, but the star center fielder and his agents rebuffed as they are more interested in a contract nearing $100 million in value. While it may seem a touch insane for the Twins to cave and submit a nine-figure offer at first blush, consider that Buxton has produced $102.8 million worth of value over this 5.160 years of service time, according to FanGraphs. Assuming he is able to keep pace for the foreseeable future, a 7-year, $100 million deal would be right in line with his production value, even if he remains unable to keep his body from betraying him. If he does find a magic elixir that keeps him healthy, well, then the deal would be a steal (pun intended). But perhaps the most pertinent question facing the Twins isn’t so much, “Is re-signing Buxton the correct move?”, but more, “Would trading him be the wrong one?” Minnesota is coming off a disappointing 73-89, last place finish in the hapless American League Central, 2021 campaign and find themselves with only two pitchers — righties Bailey Ober and Joe Ryan, both of whom were rookies last season — slated to be in the starting rotation next summer. They already shipped away Berrios at last summer’s trade deadline and figure to be interested in offloading Josh Donaldson and a healthy chunk of the $77.7 million remaining on his contract. Trading Buxton either during the offseason or prior to the 2022 trade deadline would likely net the Twins a significant return of high-level prospects to further bolster their already deep farm system. These nebulous prospects could then be swapped for more veteran MLB talent or developed to form the foundation for the next iteration of the Minnesota Twins. But the world is an uncertain place, often rendering the most logical hypotheticals moot. Trading Buxton may make the most sense at this specific point in time from a long-term team building perspective, but doing so also introduces far more uncontrolled variables into the equation that is the Minnesota Twins than simply re-signing him would. Byron Buxton is an oft-injured MVP-caliber talent; the amorphous prospects could be anything, even a boat. (Or, more than likely, a boat that requires a healthy amount of time in the shop to reach its full potential.) Both moving on from as well as re-upping with Buxton present benefits and pratfalls that could either push the Minnesota Twins back into the contender’s race or further into baseball purgatory. But the talent that Buxton possesses is the kind that many teams blatantly lose for and spend years trying to acquire. If you’ve got a boat, you may as well use it, even if it requires spending quite a bit of dough on spare parts. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email — Read more from Lucas here
  15. Twins Protect Prospects, Fill 40-Man Roster Last Friday marked the deadline for teams to add players to their 40-man rosters in order to block them from being claimed in the Rule 5 draft. Minnesota elected to protect six prospects. IN: Royce Lewis, SS Jose Miranda, 3B Josh Winder, RHP Cole Sands, RHP Blayne Enlow, RHP Chris Vallimont, RHP While the first four adds above were essentially considered locks, the Twins went the extra mile by adding Enlow (recovering from Tommy John surgery) and Vallimont (24-year-old with no success yet above Single-A). After getting burned on the loss of Akil Baddoo last year, it seems Minnesota wanted to take no undue risks this time around, especially when it comes to their critical minor-league pitching depth. In order to facilitate this wave of additions, the team also cleared room by offloading four players. OUT: Devin Smeltzer, LHP (Outrighted) Kyle Garlick, OF (Outrighted) Charlie Barnes, LHP (DFA) Willians Astudillo, UTIL (DFA) These moves leave the 40-man roster full, with 17 position players and 23 pitchers. Here's the makeup as it currently stands. From here on out, the Twins will need to remove a player and risk losing him for each new addition. Any of Danny Coulombe, Ralph Garza Jr., Juan Minaya, Cody Stashak, Drew Strotman, and Lewis Thorpe could be on the chopping block. It's hard to envision any more drops on the positional side (barring trades), after one clear candidate got himself a controversial new contract for 2022. Cave Lands Deal for 2022 It was widely expected the Twins would move on from Jake Cave this offseason. He produced a total of 0.2 fWAR in 118 games over the past two seasons, his performance progressively worsening. Alas, the team agreed to terms with him Friday on a one-year, $800K contract. It's a bit less than Cave was projected to earn in arbitration this winter, but still could hardly be considered much of a value, considering how awful his play has been. My read on this is that the Twins are simply trying to preserve some experienced outfield depth, with both Byron Buxton and Max Kepler ranking among their most likely players to be traded this offseason. Still, Jake Cave? It bears noting that arbitration contracts are not guaranteed. The Twins can still cut Cave before the next season starts while shedding most of his salary commitment. That rarely happens, but it may be somewhat more likely in this case given the circumstances. Here's a look at the updated 2022 roster and payroll projection, with Cave (for now) penciled in as fourth outfielder: Rotation Options Fly Off the Free Agency Board Free agent starters Noah Syndergaard, Justin Verlander and Eduardo Rodriguez have all signed with aspiring 2022 contenders from the American League. None of those teams are the Twins. Detroit made an emphatic statement about its status as a reborn legit player in the AL Central, signing Rodriguez to a five-year, $77 million contract. Not only is E-Rod a quality arm added atop a talented young Tigers rotation, but he was also one of the more realistic high-end starter targets for the Twins. (Though they reportedly were not in on him.) Syndergaard got a one-year, $21.5 million contract from the Angels, while Verlander re-signed with Houston on a one-year deal worth $25 million, plus a 2023 player option. It's likely that neither of these ace-caliber hurlers had much interest in signing with the reigning last-place finishers in the Central, but those kinds of short-term commitments are in the wheelhouse of the flexibility-focused Twins. With that trio off the board, here's what remains at the top end of the free agent starting pitching market (* denotes QO and draft pick compensation): Max Scherzer, RHP Kevin Gausman, RHP Robbie Ray, LHP* Marcus Stroman, RHP Clayton Kershaw, LHP Carlos Rodón, LHP Anthony DeSclafani, RHP Steven Matz, LHP Zack Greinke, RHP Alex Cobb, RHP Yusei Kikuchi, LHP Jon Gray, RHP Alex Wood, LHP Still plenty of quantity out there, but if the Twins want to score a name from this list they might want to act quickly, because other clubs aren't wasting time. One lower-level name also came off the board on Sunday when José Quintana signed with the Pirates for $2 million. Winter of Discontent? We all knew this was likely to be an unusual offseason, given the looming labor strife. Plenty of organizations seem to be biding their time. The Twins front office, especially, has had a habit of waiting out the market and treating patience as an asset, so their general lack of activity comes as no big surprise. With that said, the early events of this offseason have done nothing but fuel the sour vibes of frustrated fans who are eager for a turnaround, and a showing of intention. Since wrapping up one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history, here's what we've witnessed: Three top free agent starters signing with other teams, including one with a division rival. An unpopular player in Cave re-signing for 2022. José Berríos signing a long-term extension with Toronto, and more or less indicating that his prior dedication to reaching free agency was largely due to Minnesota never making an offer that seriously tempted him. Reports of Buxton negotiations inexplicably remaining fruitless despite the apparent presence of a reasonable framework, with a trade considered likely. None of these are necessarily unforgivable offenses on their own (the Buxton thing might be, if it plays out like it's trending). But they all feed into negative narratives around the Twins: a team that is unwilling to do what it takes to keep premier homegrown talent, or to sign high-end free agent pitching. A team that's overly committed to perceived "bargains," and maintaining the status quo rather than taking bold action. There's time to turn the tides on these narratives yet, but if the Twins stand still until the CBA expires midway through next week, they're staring down the prospect of letting this sourness and discontent fester through an extended lockout, which will already be alienating enough for fans on its own. If that's the case, well... good luck with those season ticket sales. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Order the Offseason Handbook — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  16. Last offseason, the Twins made the decision to move Jorge Polanco to second base. They wanted better defense at the shortstop position. With that in mind, the Twins signed Andrelton Simmons to a one-year deal. It didn’t go well. While Simmons provided the solid defense, he did very little with the bat. His .558 OPS was over .100 lower than it had been in all but one of his previous nine MLB seasons. His previous low was .617 in 2014. Even after his rough 2021 season, his career OPS of .683 should make the Twins consider bringing him back on a much lower contract, maybe in the $3 million range. courtesy Byron Buxton Instagram However, there was a shortstop that became available due to Friday’s roster transactions. One would be a player returning to the organization that he spent nearly a decade in and made his big-league debut with. Let’s discuss both, and then in the comments you can tell me if this player should be considered. But before that, I want to point out that my personal opinion is that the Twins need to spend available dollars this offseason on pitching. So while I would love to see the Twins grab one of those big-name, big-dollar free agent shortstops, I’m going to assume that they won’t and that they will spend big on pitching. (maybe not a fair assumption, but one that I will go with for this article.) Niko Goodrum According to MLB Trade Rumors, Niko Goodrum was projected to make $2.9 million in 2022 through arbitration. He wasn’t going to get that coming off of an injury-plagued 2021 season in which he hit just .214/.292/.359 (.651) with 11 doubles and nine home runs. He had several stints on the Injured List with calf and groin injuries. In the Covid-shortened 2020 season, he hit just .184/.263/.335 (.598) with seven doubles and five home runs. These two seasons have been rough for Goodrum offensively, no doubt, but still 10-20% better than what Simmons provided in 2021. That’s obviously a low bar. So why would I personally be interested in bringing Goodrum back to the organization where he debuted in 2017 and went 1-for-17 (.059) in September. He signed with the Tigers and had two really strong seasons. In 2018, he hit .245/.315/.432 (.749) with 29 doubles and 16 homers. In 2019, he hit .248/.322/.421 (.743) with 27 doubles, five triples and 12 homers. He stole 12 bases in 2018 and 2019, and 14 bases in 2021. Goodrum will turn 30 early in spring training 2022. While the upside may be somewhat limited and include a lot of swing-and more,, there is also great athleticism, tools, speed and power with Goodrum. The Twins drafted and signed Cartier “Niko” Goodrum out of high school in Georgia in 2010. Jorge Polanco had signed a year earlier. The two climbed up the organization ladder together. Goodrum played mostly shortstop while Polanco played shortstop. Could the keystone combination exist again? In 2020, Goodrum was a finalist for an AL Gold Glove at shortstop. He is a natural shortstop with good range and a strong arm. If the Twins signed him and told him to prepare to compete for the team’s starting shortstop job, he might be a terrific choice. Hey, if the other choices right now include a return of Simmons, then I would certainly support giving Goodrum a shot. What would it cost? I would think a one-year, $1.5 to $2.0 million would do it, especially if he was given the opportunity to start most days at shortstop. If he’s given an opportunity to start most every day at shortstop, it’s likely he would just want a one year deal, hope it goes well, and enter free agency again after the 2022 season when it isn’t the greatest free agent shortstop class ever. Because of the dollars, it would be a low-risk deal. Because of his defense, speed and power potential, there is a chance for reward. If it doesn’t go well, he can finish the year as a utility player, capable of playing seven positions (yes, all better than Willians Astudillo). If Royce Lewis is deemed ready-to-go sometime in 2021, Goodrum can become a utility player. In addition, Goodrum might have interest in a return because he has several former teammates from his minor league days with the. He played over his years with Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler, Mitch Garver, Tyler Duffey, Taylor Rogers, and Tommy Watkins was a coach and manager. An added bonus is that Goodrum has always been great in the community, going back to his Twins days when he was a Harmon Killebrew Community Service Award recipient in 2013 with the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Many times the concept of “Bring Back the Gang” gets a negative connotation. Sometimes that is fair. Other times, it just makes sense. If healthy, Niko Goodrum can provide really good defense at shortstop, some power at the plate and speed. Yes, that comes with some injury risk and a lot of strikeouts. But at the price tag, it is certainly worth strong consideration. So what do you think? Should the Twins consider a reunion with Niko Goodrum?
  17. The Twins find themselves in a difficult situation this winter. After trading their #1 starting pitcher in Jose Berrios, they’re left with only two rotation spots tentatively spoken for, each by a rookie. A pitching staff that sunk the former back-to-back AL Central champs has to be completely reworked on the front end with significant needs in a bullpen that struggled as well. Shortstop, the quarterback of the infield, is also vacant and will require a legitimate impact addition in order to help propel the team back into contention. In addition to on-field tangibles, they’ve also lost the leader of their pitching staff in Berrios, as well as the leader of the team as a whole in Nelson Cruz. A path to a comeback in 2022 is a bumpy one, but it could certainly be done. What can’t be recovered from, however, is adding center field to the list of vacancies. Center field is one of the most important everyday players on any baseball team. In Minnesota, the player manning the position has been the reason the team has sunk or swam. Since the Twins rise to success in 2019, they’ve been 100-64 with Buxton on the field and 106-106 without him. Correlation does not equal causation, but there’s no denying those numbers are indicative of Buxton’s impact when you watch him on the field. Some have called for Buxton to be traded in the past, mainly due to his long list of injuries. There’s no stopping such an opinion, but those who hold it have to realize what they’re advocating. The Twins almost certainly surpass the point of no return if they choose to field a team without Byron Buxton. The best case scenario following a Buxton trade, regardless of the return, is to sell off literally everyone else. Pay part of Josh Donaldson’s contract to get the best possible return. Take advantage of the need for catchers across the league and get a haul for Mitch Garver. See if anyone is willing to make an offer for Taylor Rogers. 2022 will certainly be a wash, and these players would offer more value on the trade market than on a losing team. Does that reality sound painful? Try the alternative where the Twins trade one of the best players in baseball and try to compete in 2022. The path to doing so without emptying the farm system or spending an unrealistic amount in free agency simply doesn’t exist. Pretending that the team marches into the playoffs in 2022 without Buxton manning center field would set Twins baseball back years. At least Option A gives full attention to collecting young talent to try to develop a new core for the near future. The team still has a path to contention in 2022, and even if that doesn’t work out, their upcoming prospects should position them well for 2023. Extending Byron Buxton is a vote of confidence not only in the front office's ability to rebound, but in the current core that’s in place. Trading Byron Buxton is waving a white flag on both fronts. The next move by the front office won’t be forced. It’s a choice. Byron Buxton isn’t asking for anything near record-setting money. There is no better player they’ll ever find to man center field, and the one they have is a home-grown fan favorite. Such a move by the front office would be giving up on a two-year window that earned them so much praise despite it never having been capitalized on. In six years this front office has inherited a stinker of a team and converted it into a core of players that once had fans thinking the stars are the limit. Now they sit on the edge of a decision that would rightfully leave fans wondering “What was it all for?”. For more Twins content: — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here
  18. Classic North Metro halfwit Tom Hanson has seen enough. With the Twins allegedly looking to move Byron Buxton, the self-taught expert on epidemiology thinks the franchise is overlooking the best path forward. “He oughta pay them to play centerfield,” said the frequently-divorced electrician. “Bet he lands on the injured list reaching for his wallet, lol.” Hanson, who frequently interrupted his interview to speculate on the accuracy of Dominion Voting Systems machinery, credits Buxton’s injury history with this outside-the-box notion. “He’s hurt all the time, and the whole insurance game is a racket,” mused Hanson. “I bet they’ve paid more on premiums for him than salary. And I bet he hasn’t thanked them for either one.” Hanson, who has been banned from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, the Star Tribune comments section, Rube Chat, YouTube, and the Perkins chain of family restaurants, said Buxton reminds him of another Twins great, and not in a good way. “Joe Mauer must have taught (Buxton) that if you say you’re hurt, these suckers will believe you every time,” said Hanson. “I almost respect it. Must be nice to make $23 million a year to hit singles and then not even do that because your quote-unquote concussion hurts. Must be real nice.” When told that one of the quoted figures for a potential Byron Buxton deal was 7 years for $100 million, Hanson was livid. “You could have a lunch pail, 110% effort guy like Zach Granite or Jake Cave who’ll go out there every day and compete for a fraction of that, or you could have a prima donna like Buxton,” exclaimed Hanson. “The fact that they’d choose the latter is just another example of the woke cancel culture infecting our society.” Hanson would not elaborate on what that meant but did say it also applied to his local school board, KARE 11 meteorologist Belinda Jensen, maternity leave, paternity leave, rap music, Home Depot, his first, third, and fourth wives, and Little Free Libraries.
  19. In March of 2010, Minnesota inked hometown hero Joe Mauer to an eight-year, $184 million contract extension. He’d played in 699 games to that point and tallied three batting titles along with an MVP. With free agency looming, the Twins did the right thing and signed him to a deal that kept him from being paid by the Boston’s or New York’s of the baseball world. Because we know that we can’t have nice things as Twins fans, Mauer’s career would be forever changed due to injuries. He’s still a Hall of Famer, and he was still underpaid, but what could’ve been is something we can always wonder about. Due to those injuries changing production Mauer’s contract was long a point of consternation for fans. Working through revisionist history, detractors will often suggest a desire to have let Mauer walk and watch larger markets pay him more. As luck would have it, those same people may now have their day. Coming into 2022, Byron Buxton will have played 493 games for the Minnesota Twins. He’s owned an .897 OPS over the past three seasons and has a Platinum Glove to his credit before turning 28-years-old. An expected prime still ahead of him, this is a player that’s one of the ten best in the sport when he’s healthy. That’s where we pick up this story. Unlike Mauer, Buxton has experienced injury issues early on in his career. Also, unlike Joe, those injuries are the only reason Minnesota has a chance to sign the superstar in the first place. Reportedly offering an $80 million deal, Minnesota has not yet pushed to the $100 million asking price even with a valuation that would far exceed that number with an average bill of health. Instead of being asked to pay $250 million or more to keep their home-grown talent, the Twins are being asked to pay pennies on the dollar to factor in the availability, or lack thereof, that comes with Buxton. Instead of jumping at that chance, they are said to be leaning in the opposite direction. This isn’t a scenario in which history can be aligned to Terry Ryan’s ultimate gaffe regarding David Ortiz. No one is getting released, and the Twins will undoubtedly get something in exchange for Byron. The problem is that no player as valuable can be had for the same dollar amount, and a move regarding someone so intertwined with the fan base will forever cause ripple effects that only Mauer could’ve mirrored. We should know soon how the front office is going to play this situation. Maybe they’ve purposely been leaking misinformation to increase their negotiating stance. However, time is running out on wondering what may happen as we are less than a year from knowing what will. Byron Buxton might not be from St. Paul, Minnesota. Still, the Baxley, Georgia, native is every bit as Twins Territory as it gets and there isn’t an opportunity to put the band-aid back on this bullet wound once the trigger is pulled. Target Field was sold as an opportunity to keep the internal stars. That rung hollow when flipping Jose Berrios, and it hits rock bottom in moving on from Buxton. Whether he stays healthy or not isn’t the question for now. It’s whether or not you are willing to keep your best talent or continually recycle it. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  20. For years the Minnesota Twins organization has suggested that the goal would be to keep homegrown stars. Yes, they paid Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler, and Miguel Sano. None of those deals were substantial, however. Instead of paying Jose Berrios, who was reportedly intent on reaching free agency, they flipped him for two top-100 prospects. Now with the Blue Jays handing out a seven-year deal worth $140 million, it’s clear that it wasn’t about paying Berrios, but probably more about how long they would. Despite Berrios suggesting he wanted to reach free agency, he was perhaps more interested in finding a deal that compensated him correctly. That’s where this begins to break down. Before getting into what the front office is trying to do, or more appropriately failing to do, we need to look at Buxton. Dan Hayes and Ken Rosenthal reported, “Talks about an incentive-laden extension in July broke down because of the Twins’ unwillingness to push the potential total value to $100 million.” That’s an awful look for the front office as well. Seven years or not, Minnesota is looking to nickel and dime a superstar they are only invited to the table because he’s been injured. Assuming Buxton was a free agent, Minnesota wouldn’t be in the realm of his possible destinations, and if an injury bug hadn’t hit him, the price tag would be well north of $250 million. Trying to piece together a salary that goes long on years and short on average annual value for a talent like Buxton is the exact opposite of the message sent to Berrios. The needle Falvey and Levine are trying to thread is a seemingly hopeless one. They appear intent on avoiding long-term deals but also are expecting to play at or below market value. There’s no give and take in that negotiating style, and the alternative is one we’ve yet to hear them dabble in. Should you opt to avoid length, the result has to be higher than the market average annual value. No player will take fewer years for the same amount of money, but they might be lured by a more lucrative deal that makes up for the lacking security. There’s no denying that this front office has done a great job establishing a strong culture and organizational structure. Minnesota’s farm system may not be as loaded as it’s ever been, but it’s undoubtedly as deep. The developmental talent is there to push players towards realizing their potential, but there has not been a good enough job done supplementing the talent at the top. Now faced with the opportunity to keep some of their best, Falvey already chose to forgo length on one and is seemingly leaning towards passing up on dollars for the other. Should Minnesota sign a top-tier pitcher with the money ticketed for Berrios, then the addition of two top prospects makes a ton of sense as an alternative. There isn’t a situation where Buxton will be replaceable at a similar valuation, though, and skimping on dollars to contradict their length stance could be something that looks like a David Ortiz-esque mistake. It’s time to stop stepping toes in the water when filling out the roster and make more than one splash move, then suggesting it’s enough. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  21. On Tuesday, Dan Hayes and Ken Rosenthal bylined a report in The Athletic with the headline: Byron Buxton’s future with the Twins remains in limbo as team gauges trade interest, potential extension offers. The article depicts a team struggling to decide whether it should trade its best player with one year remaining under contract, or hold him for the 2022 season. The option that seems most obvious and desirable — striking a long-term extension with this generational talent in his prime — doesn't really seem to be on the table, even if it hasn't been ruled out. "Chairman Jim Pohlad, according to major-league sources, is reluctant to move Buxton, knowing such a decision potentially would upset a fan base tired of seeing the team part with homegrown stars," per The Athletic. Pohlad's absolutely right in his assessment of how trading Buxton will be perceived by Twins fans, who just watched Jose Berrios sign an extension with Toronto. Fortunately, it would seem nobody is in better position than he to ensure Buxton sticks around. Pohlad and his ownership group have the power to greenlight an offer that keeps Buxton in Minnesota long-term, and such a framework — from all indications — is extremely achievable under team-friendly terms. The article from Hayes and Rosenthal reiterates that a 7-year, $80 million offer was extended in July, which we've heard before, but later offers up this detail: "Sources said talks about an incentive-laden extension in July broke down because of the Twins’ unwillingness to push the potential total value to $100 million." Back in July, reports indicated Buxton's side was amenable to that guaranteed amount of $80 million (which surprised me), but that an agreement couldn't be reached over the incentive structure. In my mind, I figured Buxton's camp must have been demanding some extravagant bonuses that could've done something like double the base amount. Yet, the wording of this new report — talks about an incentive-laden extension in July broke down because of the Twins’ unwillingness to push the potential total value to $100 million — well, that sure sounds like the team was not open to a contract that would maximize at $100 million. And if true, that's nothing short of embarrassing. Shameful. And egregiously foolish. I mean, come on, that would average out to about $14 million per year. That's Ricky Nolasco money, for a homegrown MVP-caliber player in his prime years. I'm having a really hard time connecting the dots here. If Twins ownership is adamant about keeping Buxton, and the center fielder's side is open to a reasonable deal, then what is the hold-up? Why are the Twins mired in internal debate over whether to trade Buxton or let him leave as a free agent, rather than opting for the best choice, which is neither of those? Here are a few possibilities I can conjure. If you have others, I'd love to hear them in the comments. The reported numbers are inaccurate. Hayes and Rosenthal are two of the more respected writers in the biz, and I trust they're providing a realistic view of the overall dynamic, but that doesn't mean every single detail is spot-on. Perhaps there are some specifics getting obscured in the communication loop. Or maybe they're receiving false info from a biased source with an agenda. (Ostensibly, this would be Buxton's agent, but I'm not sure what their end-game would be in leaking a low-ball offer?) Also: the numbers that've been reported would have be a loooong ways off to not make sense for the Twins. The Twins front office doesn't believe in Buxton. Or at least doesn't have enough confidence in his durability and aging regression to feel that a long-term extension is in their interest. I find this kind of hard to believe, but when you look at the evidence available to us — an owner expressing his desire to retain a player who is seemingly open to reasonable terms, and a front office that isn't making it happen — it's a plausible explanation. Buxton has no interest in signing an extension in Minnesota. This would run contrary to what he's said publicly, but it'd hardly be the first time a pro athlete gave lip service to appease fans. Maybe the bridge truly was burned when the Twins held Buxton in the minors in September of 2018. Or maybe Buck has a yearning to return to the South where he was raised. Or maybe he simply recognizes an opportunity to earn a much bigger payday one year from now if he can deliver in 2022. Sadly, I think this is probably the most likely answer behind everything, and also the only one that completely ties the Twins' hands. Pohlad is bluffing, and doesn't really want to pay up. It's the favored explanation for many, I'm sure. Maybe it's true, and Pohlad is portraying himself to media as the good guy who fought for Buxton before an inevitable trade. But if the reported number he's targeting is anywhere close to correct, there's no reason that Twins shouldn't be able to keep Buxton while building a quality team around him under the payroll parameters that have become standard under this ownership. One thing I will say: if Pohlad is pushing to prevent a Buxton trade solely to mitigate fan blowback, knowing the team won't be able to re-sign him (which is one way to read the opening in the Athletic article), the front office needs to shut him out and not listen. Team strategy cannot be dictated by such factors. Trading Buxton will be a bitter pill to swallow, but it may result in making the best of a bad situation. A totally self-inflicted bad situation, if reports around these negotiations are to be believed. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Order the Offseason Handbook — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  22. Here’s a link to that episode of the podcast, the Buxton discussion starts around the 14-minute mark. Rosenthal said he believes a Buxton trade is “likely” this offseason and that he “expects it to happen.” The reasoning he provided was that Buxton rejected the seven-year, $80 million contract extension the Twins offered him in July and the team “felt this was kind of a gamble to take even offering him $80 million.” Rosenthal pointed to the current state of the Twins and argued it’s not a playoff-caliber team due to its subpar pitching staff. He also shared his opinion that it would be better for the Twins to take a step back, trade Buxton, and re-tool for 2023 and beyond. Also on Tuesday, Rosenthal and Dan Hayes published an article at The Athletic on Buxton’s future with the Twins. That piece indicates “many in the industry” are also expecting the Twins to end up trading Buxton. There are several interesting details in that piece, but one that stands out is The Athletic’s sources indicated the Twins weren’t willing to push even the potential value of a Buxton extension — including performance-based incentives — over $100 million. Taking a look through a list of the MLB active player contracts at Spotrac, here are some outfielders who’ve signed contracts in the $70-$110 million range in recent years: Player Signed Age Years Value AAV Charlie Blackmon 31 6 $108M $18M Justin Upton 30 5 $106M $21.2M Dexter Fowler 30 5 $82.5M $16.5M Lorenzo Cain 31 5 $80M $16M Aaron Hicks 29 7 $70M $10M Twins Reported Offer to Buxton Byron Buxton 28 7 $80M $11.4M And here’s a look at the value each of those players provided the season prior to signing those deals. These are FanGraphs WAR, Baseball-Reference WAR and Baseball Prospectus’ WARP. Player (year prior to signing) fWAR bWAR WARP Charlie Blackmon ('17) 6.6 5.5 6.7 Justin Upton ('17) 5.2 5.7 4.9 Aaron Hicks ('18) 5.0 4.4 2.9 Dexter Fowler ('16) 4.6 4.0 1.6 Lorenzo Cain ('17) 4.2 5.5 6.0 Byron Buxton ('21) 4.2 4.5 2.8 The thing to keep in mind with Buxton, of course, is this only accounts for the partial season he played. As you can see, even if that’s how the Twins would prefer to evaluate him — based on his actual past production as opposed to his potential upside if he were to turn in a healthy season — their current offer still doesn’t even stack up all that well. If Dexter Fowler was able to secure a $16.5 million AAV four years ago, when he was two years older than Buxton is now, I’d imagine the Twins offer of an $11.4 million AAV was an easy one for Byron and his agency to reject. As someone who is really hoping to see Byron Buxton in a Minnesota Twins uniform for a long time, this is all very concerning. The Rosenthal/Hayes article did mention both sides continue to communicate, but reading between the lines and looking at some of these numbers I cannot imagine they are all that close to coming to terms. Under different circumstances, I’d think it might make sense to enter the year with the player on an expiring contract and play things out to see if you can complete. If so, great, you keep him and extend him a qualifying offer at the end of the season, avoiding losing the player for absolutely nothing. If you don’t compete, just trade the guy at the deadline. With these particular circumstances, there are some problems. With the Collective Bargaining Agreement expiring on Dec. 1, it’s not even certain that the qualifying offer system will be in place in the future. That leaves the door open to potentially losing Buxton for absolutely nothing. The other issue is this is Buxton we’re talking about. As much as I love him and hope they can keep him around, you wouldn’t want to bank on him being healthy come the trade deadline. This is a difficult situation and there are a lot of ways this could go poorly for the Twins. The most forgivable one, in my opinion, would be if they extend Byron and he simply never lives up to his salary. As Twins fans, I think for the most part we’re willing to be forgiving if we feel there’s a real effort made (though, like with anything, there are segments of the fanbase who will never be satisfied). One way or another, this decision has the potential to weigh heavily on the future of this front office, and this organization as a whole. How would you feel if the Twins traded Buxton away this offseason?
  23. Fall/Halloween Roundup Baseball players, they’re just like us, posing in pumpkin patches and dressing up in adorable Halloween costumes. Here’s is a roundup of all of our fall favorites: Cody Stashak is Enjoying the Offseason with his Family and the Cutest Little Pumpkin Kyle Gibson and the Chocolate Factory Josh Donaldson has the Cutest Unicorn Family The Twins’ Uniform is Looking Different Nowadays Byron Buxton watched the Braves in the World Series And spoiler alert, they won! Brent Rooker shared our Daylight Savings woes. Baseball players, they’re just like us And same…. Welcome to Minnesota, Jayce Tingler and David Popkins Jayce Tingler and David Popkins will bring their impressive resumes to Minnesota next season as the Twins’ new bench coach and hitting coach, respectively. They will be replacing the late Mike Bell and Edgar Varela. Tingler comes to Minnesota from the San Diego Padres, where he spent two seasons as their manager. Prior to San Diego, he spent some time as a coach for the Texas Rangers. Popkins comes from the Dodgers organization, where two years coaching for the Arizona Dodgers and the Great Lakes Loons. Check out Aaron & John’s reaction on their latest episode of Gleeman & the Geek. Cody Laweryson is a Fall Star This 22-year-old has had a great Fall League thus far, and he was the sole Twin named on the Fall Star game roster today. In his 13 innings pitched this fall, he has struck out 17 while allowing just one home run. Congrats Cody! Check out the remaining Fall Star game roster below:
  24. 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. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  25. A lot of Twins fans are angered by the front office “refusing to spend big money”. The problem doesn’t lie in not spending, as we see yet another phenomenal season by the penny-pinching Tampa Bay Rays. In 2021, the Twins gave J.A. Happ a one-year deal for $8MM. He had a 63 ERA+ and was in the 5th percentile of all qualified pitchers in Barrel %. Here are his percentile rankings from Baseball Savant: Simply put, Happ was one of the worst pitchers in the league in 2021. Remember that the Twins signed him for a one-year, $8 million deal. Robbie Ray is probably going to win the American League Cy Young award in 2021. He posted an AL-leading 154 ERA+ and led all of MLB with 248 strikeouts pitchers in the league in 2021. He also decreased his walk rate from 17.9% in 2020 to 6.7% in 2021. Here are his percentile rankings: Ray was outstanding in 2021. He was a free agent before the 2021 season and re-signed very quickly with the Toronto Blue Jays. Guess what his contract was? If you guessed that his contract was one-year and $8 million, you would be correct. In November of 2020, Robbie Ray signed an identical contract to what J.A. Happ would receive two months later. It’s not that the Twins won’t spend money on players, it’s that they aren’t spending money on the right players. If you want to see another case of this, take a look at Corey Knebel’s 2021 numbers and know that the Twins paid Alex Colome $250K more than him in 2021. Without further ado, let’s get into my 2021-22 offseason blueprint. Using Twins Daily’s handy roster-building tool I created this roster: Let’s break this roster down. Starting Rotation It is no secret that this is the most important need on the roster. In 2021, the Twins starting pitchers finished dead last in bWAR in all of MLB. The only starting pitchers from 2021 still on the roster are Bailey Ober and Joe Ryan, both of whom impressed in 2021 campaigns but are both still unproven. If the Twins want to contend in 2022, the front office needs to vastly improve their starting pitching. The first thing they should do is sign Carlos Rodon to a five-year, $115 million deal. If the White Sox choose not to extend Rodon after a Cy Young-caliber 2021 season, the front office needs to make him their #2 priority (more on that later). Rodon’s four-seamer was the most effective pitch in baseball in 2021 in terms of run value, being worth -26 runs. He also had the sixth most effective slider in baseball, worth -14 runs. And come on, just look at these percentile rankings. Rodon is not viewed by the general public as highly as other starters on the market such as Robbie Ray, Kevin Gausman, and Marcus Stroman. I would pay Rodon more than all three of them. Despite his breakout season, he is one of the best pitchers in baseball and him being signed for anything less than $20MM would be an absolute tragedy. The next starting pitcher the Twins should sign is Eduardo Rodriguez. The Twins should give Rodriguez a two-year, $24 million contract. There are a number of starters I could have targeted in this price range, including Jon Gray and Anthony DeSclafani. I went with Rodriguez because he may be undervalued because of his below-average 2021 statistics. When you look deeper, Rodriguez was one of the unluckiest pitchers in the league in 2021. Rodriguez has a lot of qualities I look for in a middle-to-top of the rotation starter. He doesn’t walk a lot of hitters, strikes out a good amount, and could blossom into a stud. I wrote about Rodriguez and other free agents here. The last starting pitcher the Twins should sign is Michael Pineda. Pineda is a familiar face for Twins fans, having spent the last four seasons with the organization. Pineda was solid, posting a 116 ERA+ in his three seasons in Minnesota. He rarely walks batters and has an above-average slider, having a whiff rate of 37.7% with the slider and allowing a miniscule .252 xWOBA on the pitch in 2021. He would provide a veteran presence and some familiarity to a Twins rotation. The offer to Pineda is a one-year deal worth $7 million. The Lineup Because in my blueprint I spent $42 million on starting pitchers, I'll have to scale back what the team can spend on the lineup. Let’s get into it. Going down the lineup, the first change we see is I made Alex Kirilloff the everyday first baseman. Kirilloff is a phenomenal young player who I believe will someday play in several all-star games. In 2021, Kirilloff had two outs above average at 1B compared to Miguel Sano’s -6. Sano will be the full-time DH who can occasionally play first base if Kirilloff needs a day off or plays in the outfield. The next change I made is signing Freddy Galvis to a one-year, $3 million deal. In my free agent target article, I mentioned maybe signing Carlos Correa or Chris Taylor to play the position. Unfortunately, that is not something the Twins could do while remaining around the $130 million budget because of the pitching needs. So instead, I am going to echo Nick Nelson's plan and sign Galvis on a cheap deal for one year with hopes Austin Martin or Royce Lewis could take the reins at shortstop in 2023 or even at some point in 2022. Galvis is not an outstanding player but is definitely serviceable. In the outfield, I have Brent Rooker starting the season in left field. Other guys who would be seeing time here would be Gilberto Celestino, Luis Arraez, Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, and Jose Miranda. This is by no means a set spot and whoever has a hot bat or the best matchup would be playing on any given day. In center field, the Twins give Byron Buxton a newly-inked deal. Extending Buxton is the top priority this offseason, no doubt. I wrote an extensive article highlighting what a potential deal should look like and why. It would be a seven-year, $133 million deal plus incentives for games played. The incentives are not set in stone. and I am open to listening to whatever Buxton’s side wants for incentives because as long as he’s on the field, he will be the team's best player and helping win games in so many ways. Our roster includes Trevor Larnach starting the season in right field. This is a little bit of a concern for me given his late-season struggles in 2021 and his demotion to St. Paul, but from the glimpses he showed earlier in the season and the potential he has, I have faith in Larnach to figure it out. This obviously raises the question: where did Max Kepler go? Kepler is a talented outfielder, and he is owed about $16 million over the next two seasons, which is a team-friendly contract for a player of his caliber. The Marlins are a young up-and-coming team that could use a solid outfielder and Kepler is exactly that. They are likely to value Kepler’s contract, and I believe the return could be good. This is why we should trade Max Kepler to the Miami Marlins. In return, the Twins would be receiving the Marlins sixth best-prospect, RHP Eury Perez, their seventh best prospect, LHP Jake Eder, and their 21st prospect, outfielder Griffin Conine. Perez is 6’8” and throws a fastball in the mid 90s. He had a very strong showing in High-A this year and is still only 18 years old. Eder had a very strong season in AA and features a fastball that has been up to 98 as well as a wipeout slider. Conine is a power-hitting corner outfielder who hit 36 home runs between high-A and AA in 2021. This is a very good return for Kepler so the Twins would add #19 prospect, RHP Cole Sands who had a good year in AA. According to baseballtradevalues.com, this is a very even trade. It would be a trade that would give the Twins some much needed pitching depth and add to a bright collection of pitching prospects. The Bullpen (Arm-Barn?) With the additions to the lineup and rotation, we don’t have a ton of spending flexibility for the bullpen. With Rogers, Duffey, Alcala, and Thielbar all returning, there are four spots to fill. Here is how I filled those spots: Randy Dobnak ($800K) is the long reliever. Dobnak is a good fit for this role if he can get back to his 2019-20 form. He is a strike-thrower who is efficient and could eat innings. He could also make a spot start, if needed. Ryan Tepera ($5 million) is the set-up man who could close a game too. I wrote about Tepera in my free agent targets article, and he would be an instant stud in the back end of the bullpen. He spent time in 2021 on both sides of Chicago and was excellent, being in the 96th percentile for xERA. With a nasty slider and fastball to pair with it, Tepera would be an excellent signing, especially given Rogers’ uncertainty. Heath Hembree ($1 million) is in a middle-relief role. I also wrote extensively about Hembree and his bad luck. Hembree’s high spin rates lead to exceptional strikeout numbers and with a little more luck in 2022, he would be a fantastic addition to our bullpen especially at this price. Griffin Jax ($600K) is also in a long relief role. Jax made quite a few starts in 2021 and was unimpressive. In a relief role he could let it eat a little more. If he revamps his pitch arsenal (more offspeed!), he would be a good pitcher in a long relief role. Jax’s slider had a xWOBA of .270 in 2021, compared to his fastball’s xWOBA of .402. He would be a fun pitcher to watch progress as he learns what does and doesn’t work at the major-league level. I think the poor bullpen in 2021 was a little fluky and keeping the same core four (Rogers, Duffey, Alcala, and Thielbar) along with adding a few good pieces could make our 2022 bullpen a lot better. They also could build bullpen depth with minor leaguers such as Jovani Moran, Ralph Garza Jr., and Jhoan Duran. Summary With this blueprint, I tried to keep it realistic with signings the Twins would be likely to make, and I tried to stay within a reasonable budget. For the most part, I want to not overcommit to free agency so the Twins can still have flexibility to build from within. I gave one or two year deals to Rodriguez, Galvis, Tepera, Pineda, and Hembree. Along with that, extending Buxton for seven years is big, and getting a stud starting pitcher in Rodon and the team could be ready to compete in 2022. Thank you for reading, and Go Twins! What do you think of this offseason blueprint. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Order the Offseason Handbook — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
×
×
  • Create New...