Earlier on Sunday reports surfaced regarding Minnesota Twins star outfielder Byron Buxton. With less than a week to go before the MLB trade deadline, Dan Hayes and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that Buxton and the Twins were unable to come to terms on a contract extension.
Buxton, 27, is set to become a free agent following the 2022 season and could now be on the move. According to the aforementioned report, Minnesota’s initial offer to Buxton was $73 million over seven years. The Twins ultimately increased that offer to $80 million, but it was unable to move the needle.
While a winter trade seems more likely, Jon Heyman of MLB Network is now reporting that the Philadelphia Phillies have interest in Buxton.
Philadelphia found itself at 48-49 and in second place in the National League East heading into Sunday’s action . It has an obvious need in center field with veteran Odubel Herrera having struggled to the tune of a .237 average with a .675 OPS thus far this season.
The idea of teaming Buxton up with Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen in the outfield has to be seen as appealing. The question here becomes compensation and Minnesota’s willingness to trade Buxton with just a few days to go before the MLB trade deadline.
In the initial report indicating that Buxton and the Twins failed to come to terms on an extension, it was noted that Minnesota still wants to contend next season.
If so, the Twins might just hold on to Buxton and potentially look to move him during next year’s trade deadline should those aspirations fail to materialize. If a move is made over the next few days, it’s safe to say that Minnesota will want some MLB-ready talent. Whether Philadelphia has that to offer remains to be seen.
All of this is complicated by the fact that Buxton is seen as injury-plagued. He’s appeared in more than 92 games just once since making his MLB debut back in 2015. Thus far this season, the former Gold Glove winner has appeared in all of 27 games — hitting .369 with 10 homers and 19 RBI. He’s currently on the injured list.
As for the Twins, they must find a happy medium between blowing it all up and looking to contend next season.
Minnesota entered Sunday’s action with a 42-57 record and in last place in the American League Central. It just moved star designated hitter Nelson Cruz to the Tampa Bay Rays and has a plethora of other veterans on the trade block. That includes the likes of Josh Donaldson, Andrelton Simmons, Jose Berrios and Taylor Rogers.