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Byron Buxton


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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Twins spent part of last week's GM Meetings discussing a possible trade involving Byron Buxton.

While the Twins are listening, it's not a sure thing that they will go the trade route. They could still try to improve upon their seven-year, $80 million extension offer or simply let him play out his final year of team control, either trading him midseason or letting him walk and taking the compensatory draft pick. Still, Buxton should field plenty of interest this winter, especially given the lack of quality center fielders on the market. Buxton, who turns 28 in December, managed to hit a career-high 19 homers with a .306/.358/.647 batting line despite being limited to just 61 games this year.

 

SOURCE: The Athletic

Nov 16, 2021, 12:08 PM ET

"I'm sick of runnin' from these wimps!" Ajax - The WARRIORS
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I watched a lot of Buxton highlights on the MSP news over the last few years, but wow is he injury prone.

 

He's one of those guys that you pretty much have to plan for getting 100 games out of, best case. You'd need a solid CF backup plan, and you gotta hope that he is healthy come September.

 

With that said, I certainly wouldn't give up anything close to a huge haul for him.

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I would massively "overpay" to get Buxton. I'm comfortable betting against his injury issues because in my opinion they are flukey (it's not like he has a core injury that keeps getting reaggravated), and I'm not sure I buy the idea that some guys are just naturally fragile. He's a top 5 talent in all of baseball when firing on all cylinders. Not too often a guy like that is actually available in a trade.

 

That being said, basically zero chance we are even considering him. We already have two expensive players on the roster who derive most of their value from CF defense.

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Yeah, would love to have the payroll space & roster construction to gamble on Buxton.

 

From 2019-21 he has posted 8.1 WAR (46th) despite having only 684 PAs (266th). The only player with fewer than 1,000 PAs since 2019 & a higher WAR than Byron is Trout at 13.2 WAR in 987 PAs.

 

Cody Bellinger & Kolten Wong have also posted 8.1 WAR since 2019, but needed 1,250 PAs each to get there.

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I would massively "overpay" to get Buxton. I'm comfortable betting against his injury issues because in my opinion they are flukey (it's not like he has a core injury that keeps getting reaggravated), and I'm not sure I buy the idea that some guys are just naturally fragile. He's a top 5 talent in all of baseball when firing on all cylinders. Not too often a guy like that is actually available in a trade.

 

Possibly flukey, but since his initial full time season in 2017 (where he did appear in 140 games and 511 ABs), he has had seasons of 28, 87, 39, and 61 games. He does play hard, but that also leads to some of his injures... Certainly a high risk/reward type guy.

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Count me as interested. Agree that his difference making potential is enough to take a gamble on, even if it's for only for one season.

 

A OF combination of Buxton, JBJ, and Cain, at some point in the season would also have some entertainment value. I challenge anybody to hit a flyball on that healthy OF :)

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Count me as interested. Agree that his difference making potential is enough to take a gamble on, even if it's for only for one season.

 

A OF combination of Buxton, JBJ, and Cain, at some point in the season would also have some entertainment value. I challenge anybody to hit a flyball on that healthy OF :)

 

I seriously don’t know who’d be more excited about that OF, Brewer pitchers or opposing pitchers

 

To me, another defensive CF is not the best allocation of resources

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Count me as interested. Agree that his difference making potential is enough to take a gamble on, even if it's for only for one season.

 

A OF combination of Buxton, JBJ, and Cain, at some point in the season would also have some entertainment value. I challenge anybody to hit a flyball on that healthy OF :)

 

I seriously don’t know who’d be more excited about that OF, Brewer pitchers or opposing pitchers

 

To me, another defensive CF is not the best allocation of resources

 

I think calling Buxton simply a "defensive CF" is seriously underestimating his offensive abilities. The guy was a legit MVP candidate last year before injuries got in the way, and was good in 2019 and 2020 as well. But that appears to be what you are going to get with him. A high-end offensive and defensive performer that you'll be lucky to get 100 games out of.

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I wouldn’t mind if he can be had for cheap, but I wouldn’t pay a premium for a guy who wouldn’t even be on the field half the time.

 

We already have 15-17 million tied up in Cain who will probably play 80 games this season, so I understand what you are saying...

"I'm sick of runnin' from these wimps!" Ajax - The WARRIORS
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Count me as interested. Agree that his difference making potential is enough to take a gamble on, even if it's for only for one season.

 

A OF combination of Buxton, JBJ, and Cain, at some point in the season would also have some entertainment value. I challenge anybody to hit a flyball on that healthy OF :)

 

I seriously don’t know who’d be more excited about that OF, Brewer pitchers or opposing pitchers

 

To me, another defensive CF is not the best allocation of resources

 

I think calling Buxton simply a "defensive CF" is seriously underestimating his offensive abilities. The guy was a legit MVP candidate last year before injuries got in the way, and was good in 2019 and 2020 as well. But that appears to be what you are going to get with him. A high-end offensive and defensive performer that you'll be lucky to get 100 games out of.

Yeah I meant as someone who extracts a lot of his value from being able to play cf well. Pushing CFs to the corners (Cain and JBJ don’t hit like corner OFs). If JbJ and Cain weren’t stuck on the riser already, Buxton would make sense

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If Buxton continues the offensive break out he showed in 2021 before getting hurt, that is 100% corner OF worthy.

 

Absolutely. But his value would be greater to other teams because he is CF who could hit like a corner OF. With marte being the only quality FA CF, I would see Buxton as more valuable to a team in need of CF help that misses out on Marte and has to turn to the trad market if MN were to trade him

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The thing about moving Buxton to a corner OF is that you might as well just move JBJ or Cain. They are all elite so it is really hard to say, but honestly Buxton might be a better defensive CF than even JBJ or Cain.

 

His offensive breakout is also 100% real in my opinion. I've watched him fairly closely and it wasn't just 2021, he was noticeably transformed about halfway through 2020. Definitely not just a hot streak, he is a different player at the plate. It's like watching an MVP.

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In the off-chance we acquired Buxton, I don't think we need to worry about where JBJ plays. Yelich and (hopefully) Taylor will get AB's ahead of JBJ. In this scenario, JBJ is the 5th OF. He shouldn't see more than about 200 PA's in this scenario, barring major injurie(s). Yelich will play 130 games, Cain will play 100 games, Buxton will hopefully play 100 games, I really would like to see Taylor play 100 - 120 games, so unless someone sees significant time on the DL, JBJ should be limited to spot starts and PH/late inning defensive replacements.
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If Buxton was acquired I would really try hard to move Bradley. Yeah you're going go have to eat some of the deal. Maybe you could find a similar short term bad deal for a bounce back candidate at a position of greater need.

 

I think you're right about moving JBJ. The only chance the Brewers have of moving him is if he's included in a bigger deal or if they take on an equally bad contract. Either way I don't see having much interest in Buxton. He is a rental and based on his past history, he is going to miss a good deal of games. I certainly don't see trading anyone of value for him.

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For the life of me I cannot find a single team that would part with somebody with a bad contract who could still play JBJ in their OF. Nothing lines up in terms of what the Brewers could take back while having some usage for that player. Just going to swallow that mistake and hope to get any value from him it seems to me. Guess in your most ok scenario that could be having all three of Cain, Yelich, and Taylor down to injury.
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Rosenthal followed up by providing specific details of Buxton’s deal with Twins: Seven years, $100M. Full no-trade clause.

 

More details:

 

$1M signing bonus.

2022 salary-$9M

2023-28-$15M per season

 

MVP bonuses, believed to be unprecedented, for every year of deal.

 

1st-$8M

2nd-$7M

3rd-$6M

4th-$5M

5th-$4M

6th-through-10th: $3M

 

Also: $500K each for 502, 533, 567, 600 and 625 plate appearances.

Not just “at Night” anymore.
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