Twins Mulling Center Field Insurance Plans for Byron Buxton

MLB: Wildcard-Toronto Blue Jays at Minnesota Twins
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins are determined to add or retain high-end center field help this offseason. The hope is that Byron Buxton will be healthy enough to enter the 2024 season as the Twins’ starting center fielder, after undergoing another arthroscopic knee surgery last week. But let’s be real, that’s no guarantee.

Plan for 2024 Byron Buxton insurance policy

Derek Falvey is expected to find the next Buxton insurance policy one of two ways. He’ll either (a) find one in free agency (names have already surfaced) or (b) bring Michael A. Taylor back, after he set a career high for homers last season.

Bob Nightengale Sr dropped a note in a recent USA Today column that had the Twins checking in on 4x Gold Glove winner, Kevin Kiermaier.

The Minnesota Twins, who are losing free agent pitchers Sonny Gray and Kenta Maeda, are planning to use their position player depth to acquire arms in trades. They also have interest in free agent center fielder Kevin Kiermaier.

Darren “Doogie” Wolfson, on Mackey & Judd (SKOR North), added that the Twins also have interest in CF Harrison Bader, who they put a claim on last season, post trade deadline.

Kevin Kiermaier Plan A for Plan B?

Kiermaier is coming off his one and only season in Toronto, after spending his first ten down in Tampa Bay. As a premier MLB outfielder, Kevin Kiermaier would bring a stable presence to the center field position, no matter Buxton’s availability.

He’d give them a more consistent bat, than what Michael A. Taylor provided last year. At 33-years-old, Kiermaier batted .262 with a .740 OPS in 370 at bats last season. His platinum glove and prove offensive acumen make him the best Buxton insurance option on the market.

Bader is another really solid defender (6 errors in 98 games last season). He’s 29-years-old and played for both the Yankees and Reds in 2023. His numbers at the plate, however (.232 with an OPS just over .600), are much less impressive.

But given the news we got on Tuesday night, that the Twins plan to cut payroll in 2024, it might make more sense for them to choose an in-house, younger option, in center field. Like Austin Martin, who is expected to be ready for the big leagues by next summer.

Sam Huseby | Minnesota Sports Fan

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