Byron Buxton's name has entered the MLB rumor mill after The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported that the oft-injured center fielder could be traded if he doesn't sign a long-term deal with the Minnesota Twins.
Rosenthal used the word "likely" when describing the chances of Buxton being traded if the Twins can't sign him. He wrote:
"The team’s latest offer to Buxton is in excess of the $70 million the Yankees awarded center fielder Aaron Hicks over a seven-year extension in Feb. 2019, sources said. Buxton, 27, likely will be dealt if he rejects the proposal, if not by the July 30 trade deadline — he currently is on the injured list with a fractured left hand — then this offseason."
Buxton is eligible for free agency after the 2022 season, so the clock is ticking on his current contract.
Signing Buxton to a long-term extension comes with massive risk and the potential for gigantic reward. When healthy, Buxton has proved capable of being among baseball's best players. But he's currently on the injured list with a fractured wrist and has played in more than 100 games in a season just once in his seven big league seasons.
Buxton was off to a blistering start before multiple injuries derailed his 2021 season. In just 27 games he was slashing .369/.409/.767 with 10 home runs, 11 doubles, 19 RBIs and five stolen bases.
Buxton missed more than a month early this season with a strained right hip, then shortly after returning from the injured list he was hit on the hand by a pitch from Reds right-hander Tyler Mahle.