Before we dive in, let’s make one thing clear: Our first preference is for the Minnesota Twins to keep Byron Buxton and sign him to a long-term deal, as we’ve discussed on these pages before. However, as the two sides have been unable to come to an agreement on a contract extension, talk of a potential trade has been inevitable.
In fact, one recently published article suggested that the Twins trade Buxton to the New York Mets. This prompted us to reach out to our friends over at Rising Apple to get their perspective on a potential Twins-Mets swap centered around Buxton.
Minnesota Twins: What could the Twins get in return?
As we know, Buxton is one of the game’s most dynamic players but has had trouble staying on the field due to injuries. If Twins fans think that they could get a large haul from the Mets in return for Buxton, according to Rising Apple, they may be in for a rude awakening, as it sounds like they don’t see him as a high priority.
“The Mets don’t have a pressing need to trade for Buxton anymore after how much Brandon Nimmo grew as a center fielder in 2021,” Rising Apple told Puckett’s Pond. Indeed, Nimmo has played well for the Mets this year, posting a 4.2 WAR in just 89 games played.
However, Rising Apple was still kind enough to share some of their trade ideas for Buxton with us. The only major leaguer “with any value” they said they would trade straight up for Buxton is Robert Gsellman, and they acknowledged that the Twins wouldn’t take this deal. They acknowledged that Dominic Smith and J.D. Davis are on the trade block but believe that they have more value to the Mets in 2022 than Buxton does.
It sounds like they wouldn’t give up any top prospects for Buxton, either. “Because the Mets are guaranteed only one year of control with Buxton, they can’t possibly give up a top ten prospect for him,” says Rising Apple. Two names they floated out there are Carlos Cortes, a 2B/LF ranked #10 by MLB, and left-hander Josh Walker, ranked #16 by MLB.
One other possibility that Rising Apple mentioned is a trade for a starting pitcher. They specifically mentioned Taijuan Walker and Carlos Carrasco, neither of whom are coming off particularly great years, especially Carrasco. Though the Twins are in need of starting pitching, neither of these names would be likely to be much of an upgrade for Minnesota, and Rising Apple didn’t sound too crazy about making such a trade, either.
If the Twins decide to go into full rebuilding mode — and it sounds like they won’t be — Cortes and Walker could be useful parts for the future. However, if that’s the best the Twins can do for Buxton, they would be much better off holding onto him, even if it means risking losing him as a free agent after next season.
We want to thank Rising Apple for taking the time to give us their honest opinion on Buxton; be sure to visit their site for more great Mets news and analysis!