Way back in 2012, the Minnesota Twins took high school outfielder Byron Buxton second overall in the MLB Amateur Draft. He was immediately included on MLB.com’s top-100 prospect rankings and was even named baseball’s number one prospect in 2014 and 2015.
The tools have always been there, but it took him a while to put it all together. It wasn’t until 2019 that he produced his first above-average offensive season by wRC+. He kept that momentum going and had another good year at the plate in the shortened COVID season before really hitting his stride this past campaign, posting a 1.005 OPS and 4.2 WAR in just 61 games.
His big problem, though, has always been his ability to stay on the field. Over the last three seasons, he’s only appeared in 187 out of the team’s 384 total games, less than 50%. And since 2016, his first full season on the major league roster, Buxton’s only played in at least 93 games once, back in ‘17.
Byron Buxton is the Minnesota Twins’ franchise player but what might a trade package look like?
However, even with his injury troubles, Buxton has become the face of the franchise and the best all-around player. So while his name has come up in trade discussions recently, it makes sense why most fans have become disgruntled with the idea of the 27-year old in another uniform.
With Buxton in the last year of his contract and contract extensions stalling, it’s only logical to assume the Minnesota Twins will keep exploring a trade before losing him on the open market.
Despite how most of the fan base feels, I don’t think a Byron Buxton trade is the worst thing if an extension can’t be worked out. Obviously, it depends on what kind of haul we would get back, and I want to see the club go for it next season, but there are some things to think about.
If the right offer is on the table, not only would we avoid losing Buxton for no more than a draft pick, we could also land MLB-ready talent to help in a playoff pursuit. With the money we save on not extending our star center fielder, we could spend on other areas of need.
Several teams could use a player like Buxton. The Mets, Phillies, Padres, Braves, Brewers, and Astros all have room for improvement in the outfield, just to name a handful. Not every team would be willing or has enough resources for me to discuss a potential trade, so let’s go over some theoretical deals with clubs I think could make it happen that I wouldn’t hate seeing.