Twins Shock MLB World; Sign Byron Buxton to 7-Year, $100M+ Contract Extension
A huge sports weekend in this state just became historic. The Minnesota Twins, who are still owned by the Pohlad family, have signed Byron Buxton to a contract extension that might be the fairest in all of MLB history.
According to Jeff Passan (ESPN) and Ken Rosenthal (The Athletic), Buxton’s new 7-year deal (full no-trade clause) is worth a starting salary of $15 million per year (100 million total), which was the number he’s been asking for all along. And it comes with HEAVY incentives, which include “unprecedented” extra $$$ for placing 1-10 in the MVP race.
BREAKING: Center fielder Byron Buxton and the Minnesota Twins are in agreement on a long-term, nine-figure contract extension, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 28, 2021
Buxton deal with Twins, per source: Seven years, $100M. Full no-trade clause.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 28, 2021
More details:— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 28, 2021
$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
Buxton betting on himself
This contract does not happen if Byron Buxton doesn’t believe in himself more than most MLB players are willing to admit when huge dollars are on the line OR if he doesn’t wholeheartedly want to stay in a Minnesota Twins uniform. Most Major League Baseball contracts are fully guaranteed.
That’s because there is no salary cap and even fringe stars are able to demand huge paychecks on that fully free market free agency system. Teams from New York and the LA area are willing and able to pay huge dollars to form great teams.
Byron was no different. Even with his injury history, he could have demanded the Twins trade him or pay him $20+ million per year because someone else would have. Instead, he asked for a very fair $15 million per year and bet on himself. The only way he gets paid like a superstar now, is if he performs like one.
Cap tip to the Pohlad’s
As fair as this deal was for all parties, I’m still in shock that it’s happening. Jim Pohlad made it very clear that he wasn’t comfortable signing an injury prone Byron Buxton to a long term contract extension worth $100 million dollars or more.
In a different world, where fans weren’t demanding they sign Buxton with the same fervor we’ve seen, maybe Pohlad opts for a trade. But to Jim’s credit, we’ll never know. Because instead of giving us another reason for bad headlines or another reason for fans to drop their season tickets, the Pohlad family pulled out their pocket book and committed to their baseball team like we’ve rarely seen from them in the past.
So there will be no slander from this writer today. Just applause. Today was a good day for Minnesota Twins fans.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan