Mets Offseason Trade Candidate: Outfielder Byron Buxton

Is Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton an available trade option for the New York Mets to consider?

As the New York Mets head into the busy part of the offseason, they certainly will be under the microscope with every move they make. The outfield seems to be one of the only areas on the team that’s set for 2019, but it shouldn’t force the Mets to not explore replacements or not take chances on players.

Byron Buxton could be a small bargain that could work for the Amazins.

The Mets have a very crowded outfield as they head into the offseason and also a very expensive one. Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo seem to be sure-things as starters next year, as they should be. But even though they have candidates for the third spot, does not mean they are the right fit.

Jay Bruce is still under contract with the Mets for three more seasons, and his injury-plagued 2018 has given fans concerns. Of course, the Mets also have Yoenis Cespedes who is expected to be out at least half the year after getting surgery on his heels. Despite being gone for a while Juan Lagares is also on the roster and is expected to be ready for the start of 2019.

The truth is after Conforto and Nimmo the options are not the best for the Mets. Bruce is very capable of going back to his old ways of being a good hitter but the injury concerns for the price the Mets are paying may not be worth it. After all the Cespedes injury drama this year it’s hard for some fans to know if he will even be back at all next year. Lagares is also a recurring narrative with winding up on the DL year after year.

Buxton is a former first-round pick (second overall) by the Minnesota Twins in 2012. He has all the potential to be a 5 tool player in the big leagues. It has been a slow rise for Buxton however. He has only been in the big leagues for 4 seasons and his best by far came in 2017.

In 2017 Buxton hit 16 HR and collected 51 RBI while hitting for a .253 batting average. According to baseball reference, Buxton also put together his highest WAR total of 5.2.

In 2018 however, Buxton had a rough go. He battled injuries all season and was eventually shut down prior to September. He only played 28 games last year but multiple reports say Buxton was healthy and had improved in Triple-A leading many to wonder why he was not called up. Many signs pointing to service time being the reason he was not called up.

Buxton was disappointed when not being called up in September and it is unknown if he plans to file any grievances against the team. The Mets could take advantage of the dysfunctional relationship between Buxton and Minnesota and potentially steal a good center fielder.

Hard to imagine the price tag would be high for someone like Buxton who has not really put together a full season yet and the Mets would have to move some pieces around such as getting rid of Bruce’s contract. But this could be one of those scenarios where it could be worth the risk.

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Do you think Buxton is a realistic target?