Twins Reportedly Discussing Extensions for Young Core Not Named Buxton/Sano

KANSAS CITY, MO – APRIL 30: Miguel Sano #22 of the Minnesota Twins jogs back to the dugout alongside Max Kepler #26 and Byron Buxton #25 after hitting a three-run home run during the 3rd inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 30, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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With Minnesota Twins’ pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training on Valentine’s Day Thursday, later this week, let’s first remember that girlfriends and wives of MLB athletes are the real losers of the red and pink holiday. But beyond the ladies of the MLB, both V-Day and Spring Training are welcomed signs of warmer days, while we sit and get pounded by 17 inches of snow every 48 hours this February. 

And along with Spring Training comes more Minnesota Twins’ news. And we need everything we can find to distract us from all of this time inside with nothing to do but watch three shitty sports teams. LeVelle E. Neal of the Star Tribune delivered such news earlier today when he reported that the Twins were in looking to ink some of their young core to contracts that would cover the rest of their arbitration-eligible time in the MLB.

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This is a standard practice for promising young players and MLB teams because it gives stability to everyone involved. Instead of having to rebudget and go into arbitration contract discussions every offseason, the team is able to budget for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile the player has longer-term stability and isn’t worried about playing for a new contract every season.

Neal says that Falvey wouldn’t disclose the names of those currently in talks but mentions Eddie Rosario and Jose Berrios being the most likely and most deserving of said extensions. He then mentions Kepler, Rogers, Polanco, and Gibson all as possibilities too.

The fact that young core guys will be getting extensions isn’t really big news. It’s who WON’T be getting extensions that caught my eye…

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Indications are the team will take a wait-and-see approach with third baseman Miguel Sano and outfielder Byron Buxton. Both players are attempting to bounce back from 2018 seasons in which they battled injuries and underperformed. Both spent the offseason focusing on conditioning, for different reasons: Sano dropped 25 pounds in an effort to get into better shape, while Buxton added 20 pounds to help deal with the pounding he takes in center field.

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The Twins’ front office avoiding extensions for Buxton and Sano isn’t necessarily surprising. I don’t know if either guy would want them, at least if they believe in themselves. If Buxton and/or Sano have big seasons in 2019, their arbitration (and in-turn extension) $$$’s will be a lot higher than they are right now.

It also continues the team’s 1-year waiting game theme we’ve already seen play out this offseason. Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano hold the future of the Minnesota Twins. Big years out of those two could mean big investments by the team next season and hard pushes for playoff runs while more fallout could mean a redirection based on other young pieces.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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