The Twins and Byron Buxton could arrive at a contract extension well before the 24-year old hits free agency in 2021, Jim Bowden of The Athletic reports. The sides aren’t currently close to a deal.
The former second overall pick is coming off of a solid first full season with the Twins, slashing .253/.314/.413 with 16 home runs and a Golden Glove to show for his defensive prowess. Let’s not forget his speed on the base paths, collecting 29 stolen bases in 2017.
The centerfielder has only just begun to show Minnesota what he’s made of, so it’s no surprise they want to lock him down before he can get to his arbitration years. Buxton is safe in case of injury of premature tanking, and the Twins won’t have to make a much larger payout down the line. Although a deal isn’t close at the moment, it’s hard to see why it wouldn’t happen, everybody wins.
Super insane long-term contracts are a hot topic right now, mostly because every Boras represented free agent asked for a significant amount of years in tandem with a significant amount of money. Here, however, Buxton is just at the cusp of his prime instead of the thick of it, and has presumably more better years ahead of him than someone like J.D. Martinez does at 30.
Minnesota has spent this offseason gearing up to start where last year left off: the team that surprised everyone and captured a Wild Card spot. Except this time, they’re ready to be that team for the long haul, and signing Buxton to be the franchise piece to help them do so is a key element to their success to come.