What the Michael A. Taylor trade means for Byron Buxton
It's been a big offseason for the Minnesota Twins, and it goes beyond bringing back Carlos Correa.
With the addition of outfielder Michael A. Taylor in a trade with the Kansas City Royals, for two prospects, the Twins were able to fill a big position of need this offseason. Taylor's main position is center field, but the big question is what will this mean for the Twins starting centerfielder Byron Buxton.
Ideally it will mean the Twins have some much needed outfield depth.
Having Buxton play centerfield is a valuable piece to Minnesota'success, but it comes with a price. As it has been well documented, Buxton's injury proneness has capped his and the club's potential in recent years. It was particularly noticeable in 2021 and 2022, when Buxton went down in seasons where the Twins failed to win 80 games. Since 2019, the team has posted a below .500 record in games Buxton hasn't played, and a big reason beyond the obvious of losing an MVP-caliber player is that the Twins had little available depth in the outfield, especially the center field spot to fill in his place.
But as part of the big offseason the Twins have had, they acquired that much needed depth in center with Michael A. Taylor. He has been struggling on offense these last few years, but as a right handed hitter, he is a good addition because the Twins only have two right handed hitters in the outfield on the current roster. Taylor also has some good stats when he is hitting against lefty pitchers in his career (.257/.310/.412) Now it's his defense that he brings. Taylor leads the league in runs saved since 2020, and in 2021Taylor won the AL Gold Glove award for Center Field.
Michael A. Taylor will be able to be a backup for Buxton in center, and keep the Twins playing at a high level. Taylor will allow the Twins to give Buxton rest days or start him as a designated hitter in games when Buxton needs it. Taylor also adds more firepower to what should be a Twins outfield that doesn't let "anything fall but raindrops."