Jim Bowden reports that the Twins and outfielder Byron Buxton are interested in a long-term contract extension and have had conversations about it.
Buxton, 24, will become eligible for arbitration after this season and can become a free agent after the 2021 season. The Twins would likely want to buy out those years plus a couple of his free agent years as well.
Last season, Buxton hit .253/.314/.413 with 16 home runs, 51 RBI, 69 runs scored, and 29 stolen bases in 511 plate appearances while playing superb defense in center field. He was awarded a Gold Glove during the offseason.
Buxton will be a major part of an upgraded Twins roster as they attempt to return to the playoffs. The club went 85-77 last year, losing the AL Wild Card game to the Yankees.
Daniel Murphy said today that he will not be ready for Opening Day and will start the year on the disabled list.
Murphy had microfracture knee surgery last October. While he has been able to take batting practice and field ground balls, his lateral movement is still limited. In his absence — which is not expected to last past mid-April or so — Howie Kendrick will get the bulk of the playing time at second base.
Murphy hit .322/.384/.543, smacked 23 homers and knocked in 93 RBI in 2017.