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What should the Twins do with Byron Buxton?

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Is it too soon to pull the plug?

Detroit Tigers v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

From Minor League Ball community member DBullsfan:

John, as a Twins fan and someone who writes about minor league baseball/prospects for a living, what do you think Byron Buxton’s trade value would be at this point and would the Twins be willing to make a move? After yet another demotion I wonder if it is time for them to move on and for him to hope that a new start can turn things around. He is entering his Arb years but I can see a team like the Rays taking a shot on him if the price is right as their biggest weakness is in the OF and pairing him with Kiermier gives them an elite defensive outfield with some offensive upside if he can find what he lost.

This is a two-part question. Taking a swing,

A) Buxton’s trade value? Buxton has obviously been terrible this year, hitting .156/.183/.200 in 90 at-bats with a horrendous 3/28 BB/K ratio. Injuries have been a major factor, with Buxton missing time with migraine headaches as well as a broken toe. He’s with Triple-A Rochester currently and hitting a meager .204/.271/.370 through 54 at-bats, and still struggling with strike zone issues (four walks, 21 strikeouts).

That does not sound like a player with a great deal of market value and his stock is certainly not as high as it was, say, four months ago, or three years ago when he was one of the top prospects in baseball.

I have to think that other teams would still be interested in Buxton, however. The premium athleticism is still there. He’s only 24. He’s still an excellent defensive outfielder. And it is not like he hasn’t had success with the bat in the past: he hit .300/.347/.546 in the second half of the 2017 season.

It is certainly disappointing that he’s lost the momentum from last summer but Buxton is far from a lost cause. Heck, if he’s healthy and keeps himself together emotionally, he could come roaring back in the second half like he did last year, in which case this is all moot.

B) Will the Twins move him?

Maybe, but they would certainly not give him away.

While I don’t think he is in the untouchable franchise-cornerstone category at this stage, the Twins are certainly aware of the positives mentioned above. I rather doubt that they would jump to trade Buxton while his perceived value is at a low ebb. My guess is that they would listen to offers but it would have to be something quite special to get them to yes. I have no specific knowledge on this but if I were in their place, that would be my view.