Twins Working on Deal to Triple Byron Buxton’s Pay for 2019

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Late this morning; I was finishing some things up for Episode 38 of our Minnesota Sports Fan Podcast that was recorded last night, and in a dramatic instance of coincidence, I received an interesting notification from last night’s podcast guest, Darren Wolfson. Unfortunately, it was on a subject we didn’t have time to touch on during our interview, but it caught my eye nonetheless.

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Don’t you wish you could get your salary tripled for performances like the one Byron Buxton had in 2018?

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Why is this happening?

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So there are a couple of layers to this situation. Yes, Byron Buxton had a terrible season in 2018. Definitely not a season that was worth a raise like this. However, if Byron would have played 100 games and hit .250, he’d probably be getting a lot bigger boost to the pocketbook.

However, I have a hard time believing an arbiter for the MLB would have required this big of a raise for the former #1 overall MLB prospect. That’s why this sticks out. Normally, when teams and players enter contract discussions that revolve around player arbitration, teams will stick to a number that’s close to what an arbiter would require them to pay said player, if negotiations were to get that far.

So, why would the Twins pay Byron a lot more than that?

Well, it starts with last season around September. Byron Buxton was finishing his recovery from a season full of disappointments and injuries and he was back to dominating the Triple-A scene. The minor league season was over and it was time for MLB teams to expand rosters (September Call-Ups).

When those call-up names were released, there was one noticeable (seemingly now healthy) name left off of that list. It was Byron Buxton.

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And then, the Twins admitted that service time played into their decision. Buxton would have been eligible for free agency one season earlier had he been called up last September.

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To make this raise an even easier decision for the Twins front office, they have pockets that are currently busting at the seams with cash. After Mauer, Dozier, and Ervin Santana were all wiped off of the books after last season, the Twins haven’t made any significant signings outside of Nelson Cruz.

Throwing an extra $750K at Byron Buxton is a no-brainer. You keep him happy, show him some trust, and make up some of the money he may have lost by being pushed down the free agency timing last September.

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via GIPHY

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via GIPHY

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There we go.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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