The Minnesota Twins may not be pushing for a World Series anytime soon, but that isn't stopping the organization from locking down some key pieces. The Twins made a big splash on Sunday, tying down star center fielder Byron Buxton on a brand new contract.
According to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, Buxton's deal with the Twins is for seven years and will pay the speedster $100 million throughout its duration. Additionally, Buxton will have a full no-trade clause as part of his new contract.
$1M signing bonus.
2023-28-$15M per season
MVP bonuses, believed to be unprecedented, for every year of deal.
Also: $500K each for 502, 533, 567, 600 and 625 plate appearances. https://t.co/leTEjfa4wR
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 28, 2021
Buxton has shown flashes of the talent that had him labeled as baseball's top prospect back in 2015, but injuries have plagued him throughout his career. Buxton hasn't played more than 100 games in a season since 2017, the only year he's reached triple-digit games played. Last year, Buxton featured in just 61 games for the Twins, having missed significant time with a finger injury.
When healthy, he was one of the best players in the game on both sides of the ball. Buxton slashed .306/.358/.647 with 19 home runs and 32 RBI across 254 plate appearances in 2021.
Buxton's trouble with injuries has kept him from being recognized as a superstar across the sport, and rightfully so. As they often say, the best ability is availability, and while Buxton is one of the best in the business when healthy, but his availability has become increasingly limited.
While the Twins will have locked down one of the best players in baseball for the foreseeable future, there has to be some worry within the fanbase about how many games Buxton will actually be out on the field for, rather than watching from home in a sling.