MLB Rumors: Byron Buxton Could Be Traded by Twins Without New Long-Term Contract

Adam WellsJuly 16, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 21: Byron Buxton #25 of the Minnesota Twins looks on against the Cincinnati Reds on June 21, 2021 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

As the Minnesota Twins prepare to begin the second half of their disappointing 2021 season, Byron Buxton's contract status is something that opposing teams could keep a close eye on leading up to the trade deadline. 

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported on Friday that the Twins are trying to sign Buxton to a long-term extension, but if no agreement is reached, the 27-year-old is "likely" going to be traded by the July 30 deadline. 

According to Rosenthal, Minnesota's most recent offer to Buxton is more than the $70 million that Aaron Hicks received from the New York Yankees in February 2019. 

The Twins don't necessarily need to be in a rush to deal Buxton. He still has one more year of arbitration before being eligible for free agency after the 2022 season. 

There are significant questions about Buxton's ability to be a long-term contributor. The 2017 Gold Glove winner is one of the most dynamic players in Major League Baseball when he's healthy. 

Staying healthy, though, has been an issue for Buxton. He's only played more than 100 games in a season once since making his big-league debut in 2015.

The Georgia native is on the injured list with a fractured left hand suffered when he was hit by a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds on June 21, three days after he returned from a six-week stint on the IL with a hip injury. 

When Buxton has been healthy this season, he's been one of the few bright spots for the Twins. He's hitting .369/.409/.767 with 10 homers in 103 at-bats over 27 games. 

Coming off back-to-back American League Central titles, the Twins are in fourth place in the division with a 39-50 record. They trail the Oakland Athletics by 11.5 games for the second wild-card spot in the AL.