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.
Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino of The Athletic report that Rays starter Blake Snell has switched agencies, going from Apex Baseball to Boras Corporation. Snell is currently signed to a five-year, $50 million contract and will be under contract through 2023.
Snell found himself in hot water two weeks ago when he said on his Twitch stream that he wouldn’t risk his life to play baseball during a pandemic while receiving significantly reduced pay. Some described Snell as tone deaf for saying, “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay?”
Boras represents many of baseball’s highest-paid players, including Gerrit Cole and Bryce Harper. Snell is not likely to win over any of the people he recently irritated by appearing to go after more money by hiring the highest-profile agent. What often goes unsaid is that players have a very limited window in which to use their elite athletic skills to make money.
Snell won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio over 180 2/3 innings. He did not have nearly the same success last year, going 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 147/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings.