For the second time this season one of the Twins’ starting outfielders got hurt and when he was ready to come off the disabled list they instead demoted him to the minors.
The first time it was Opening Day left fielder Oswaldo Arcia, who remains at Triple-A two months later. And now it’s stud center field prospect Byron Buxton, whose much-hyped MLB debut in mid-June lasted just 11 games before he suffered a thumb injury.
Buxton played three minor-league rehab games at Triple-A, going 5-for-12 (.417) with one double, two walks, and one stolen base. That convinced the Twins we was healthy, but they didn’t want to activate him and didn’t want him to keep accumulating MLB service time on the DL. So now he’s simply at Triple-A.
Minnesota will stick with Aaron Hicks in center field and Torii Hunter and Eddie Rosario in the outfield corners, with Shane Robinson getting more playing time than he deserves as the fourth outielder. After a strong start to the season the Twins have the AL’s worst record since June 1 at 25-37.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.
This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.
With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.