Earlier this week, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported that the Minnesota Twins offered outfielder Byron Buxton a contract extension worth over $70 million. However, the 2017 Gold Glove winner has yet to sign the deal and the clock is ticking towards the MLB's July 30 trade deadline. Considering how Rosenthal also said that the Twins will shop Buxton if he doesn't sign the deal, the baseball world could see him moved in the coming weeks.
The often-injured 27-year-old has 10 home runs and 19 RBI in just 27 games this season and has one year left of arbitration following the 2021 MLB season.
Here's a look at the three most likely destinations for Buxton ahead of the trade deadline.
Byron Buxton Trade Destinations
1. Atlanta Braves
With Marcell Ozuna out indefinitely and Ronald Acuna Jr. dealing with a season-ending ACL injury, the Atlanta Braves desperately need help in their outfield. While Buxton has injury issues of his own, the Braves need some sort of difference-maker to help them in a playoff push. Considering how Atlanta is just 4.0 games back of the New York Mets for first place in the NL East, the Braves may have to pull the trigger before it's too late. The only downside is that Buxton is still recovering from his broken hand, so he may not be back in the lineup until August. Still, if the Braves can stay afloat until then, he could provide a lot of help once the postseason nears.
2. Houston Astros
After a disappointing 2020 campaign and a slower-than-expected start to the current season, the Houston Astros are currently 55-36 as they sit atop the AL West. Primed for another World Series run, the Astros could use an upgrade in centerfield over Myles Straw. The 26-year-old has been good for Houston, having recorded 2 home runs and 28 RBI so far on the season. However, Buxton would certainly be an upgrade over him. The veteran outfielder has 459 career games under his belt (compared to Straw's 184) and has more experience playing in high-pressure situations. If the Astros are confident that Buxton could stay healthy for the remainder of the season, they should definitely inquire about his availability. After all, a healthy player like him would further cement Houston as a World Series contender.
3. New York Yankees
Sitting 4.5 games back of the final American League Wild Card spot, the New York Yankees' season has been marred by outfield injuries. Clint Frazier and Aaron Hicks are on the 10- and 60-day injured lists respectively, while 37-year-old centerfielder Brett Gardner is hitting a disappointing .194/.310/.304 in their absence. Even though it'd be risky bringing in a guy like Buxton, the Yankees desperately need to upgrade their centerfield position. After all, he does have a .990 field percentage as a CF and had a batting average of .369 before getting sidelined. Besides, New York has promising prospects like RHP Clarke Schmidt and Oswald Peraza that they could send back to Minnesota if the Twins are looking to rebuild.
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