NY Mets: Ranking the top 10 trade targets this offseason
3) Byron Buxton
I’m gonna be totally honest, I’m a huge Byron Buxton fan. I think he’s a top tier talent and it’s the exact type of talent the Mets would thrive on moving forward. Now, the first thing most people will point out is Buxton’s injury history. Buxton has appeared in over 100 games just once in his career, which cannot be ignored. Given the recent troubles with Mets’ own injury problems, fans probably aren’t clamoring for someone who has been plagued with consistent injuries.
What the Mets would be getting, however, is well worth the risk. When listing the things the Mets have been sorely lacking (speed, right-handed power, a true centerfielder), Buxton checks every one of those boxes.
At the beginning of 2021, especially in April, the league was introduced to the full potential of Buxton. Look at what Buxton did in 73 plate appearances in March/April:
The number two overall pick in the 2012 MLB draft, Buxton has long been heralded as a freak athlete with the potential to be a perennial all-star. It’s been injuries that have held back his ability to break out, but the raw tools are all there and when clicking, he’s one of the games top players. When he did play 140 games in 2017, he won a gold glove, something the Mets haven’t had in centerfield since Juan Lagares in 2014.
The Mets, who have long been in need for a defensive presence in centerfield, would have to examine whether the risk would be worth the cost in a trade, but there are a few variables to consider. First, the Twins and Buxton have failed to reach an extension, despite attempts by Minnesota to lock him up long term. Second, the injuries certainly have impacted his cost, even though the asking price was still considered high at the deadline this past season. But Buxton is in the final year of his contract and unless the Twins are going to shell out a nice contract for Buxton, they pose the risk of losing him without getting anything in return.
It would be a gamble for the Mets to say the least, but one that could pay a huge reward if Buxton can stay healthy in 2022.