Brian Buchanan came over to the Twins in the Chuck Knoblauch trade, along with Eric Milton, Cristian Guzman, Danny Mota and a pile of cash from the Yankees. He looked the part of a MLB slugger, but never put it together on the field. Buchanan is smack-dab in the middle of a long and winding series of trades that turned the Twins 1989 first-round draft pick into Lester Oliveros.
Last we saw him…
Well, that sort of depends on what you remember. Buck started 2002 as the Opening Day right fielder for the Twins and split the next few months between the outfield and DH. In July, he was traded to the San Diego Padres for shortstop Jason Bartlett, and the Dusty Kiehlmohr platoon took over right field full time.
If you’ve got a good memory, you might remember Buchanan’s stint with the St. Paul Saints in 2006, where he belted 11 home runs in 48 games while splitting time between first base and the outfield.
What he’s been up to since
After leaving the Padres, Buck signed with the Mets as a free agent in 2004 and played two games for the club, his last action in the big leagues. Over the next few seasons, he toiled in the minors for the Rays, Rockies, Reds and Royals…and the Twins. In 2005, Buchanan briefly returned to the Twins organization, suiting up for 28 games for AAA Rochester. Two years later, the former first-round pick of the Yankees spent a season in Japan playing for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.
Buck pitched a total of eight games for three teams; from what I can tell, he was just the guy who was willing to go out on the mound to finish up blowout losses.
That sort of team-first attitude ingratiated Buchanan to his parent club at the time, the Kansas City Royals, and they hired him on as a minor league manager after he retired in 2009 at age 35. His teams have improved their winning percentage each year that he’s been at the helm, and Buck will be managing the Class A Lexington Legends in their first season as a Royals affiliate in 2013. Not yet 40 years old, it would appear that Brian Buchanan still has a career in professional baseball ahead of him.