Outfielder Byron Buxton has turned down a contract extension offer from the Minnesota Twins, according to Ken Rosenthal and Dan Hayes of The Athletic.
Buxton, who is on the injured list with a fractured left hand, is under team control in 2022 and could become a free agent in 2023.
While two separate IL stints have limited Buxton to just 27 games this season, he has put up MVP-caliber numbers when healthy, slashing .369/.409/.767 with 10 home runs, 19 RBI, 21 runs scored and five stolen bases.
Rosenthal reported on July 15 that Buxton and the Twins were negotiating a possible extension, although he also noted that Buxton's name had started to come up on the trade market.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, Minnesota will listen to offers for Buxton. The Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly among the teams interested in Buxton.
ESPN's Buster Olney had reported on July 17 that the Twins "aren't inclined" to trade players under team control through 2022.
Ever since the Twins selected him with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 MLB draft, Buxton has been a highly regarded player thought to have superstar potential.
Inconsistency and injuries have plagued the 27-year-old throughout his career, however.
Buxton has reached 100 games played in a season just once in his seven-year MLB career, appearing in 140 and winning a Gold Glove in 2017.
Buxton did appear in 39 of the Twins' 60 games last season, and he had one of his most productive years to date, hitting .254 with 13 home runs and 27 RBI, which resulted in a 16th-place finish in the American League MVP voting.
Since Buxton has finally realized some of his immense potential this season when healthy, it is understandable why he may be a hot name on the trade market leading up to Friday's trade deadline.
Also, while Buxton could blossom into a true superstar elsewhere, trading him could be a sensible move on Minnesota's part given that the Twins are last in the AL Central with a 42-57 record.
On top of that, there is an inherent risk that would come along with signing Buxton to a long-term extension, as he still has yet to prove he can remain healthy and productive over the course of a full season.
With Buxton reportedly turning down an extension offer from the Twins, perhaps the chances of opposing clubs prying him away from Minnesota before the deadline have gone up.