The Twins’ Byron Buxton has often tantalized with his potential. Ever since he came up through the minors as one of the highest rated prospects in the game, Buxton has been a guy to dream on with his mix of power, speed, and defensive ability. You will not struggle to find fans of any number of teams that wishes he was in their organization in the hopes that he will break out for them.
However, the problem with Byron has been with his ability to stay on the field and has rarely been with his play once he is on it. Since playing 140 games for the Twins back in 2017, Buxton has not played more than 87 games in a season since then. Some of that was due to his own ineffectiveness, but a big part of that was due to a myriad of injuries. 2021 was yet another example of the injury bug biting him as issues with his hamstring and hip limited him to just 61 games in 2021 as he was looking poised for a breakout performance.
That said, he is so, so good when he plays and those injury issues (combined with some lingering issues with his approach at the plate) have not deterred the Twins from locking Buxton up for the foreseeable future.
BREAKING: Center fielder Byron Buxton and the Minnesota Twins are in agreement on a long-term, nine-figure contract extension, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 28, 2021
Buxton deal with Twins, per source: Seven years, $100M. Full no-trade clause.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 28, 2021
On a pure upside basis, it is hard to fault the Twins for taking this sort of shot. Sure, it is a seven year deal for real money, but even if Buxton is hurt a decent bit during the course of the deal, on a rate basis...the Twins are likely to be okay with their level of investment. IF he stays healthy, the Twins could get an absolute steal.
For Buxton, he forgoes the chance to build his value as one of the game’s best young stars in favor of some very real financial stability. His injury history is worrisome on both sides, after all, and he likely doesn’t want to risk another injury impacting his earning potential negatively in the coming seasons.