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Byron Buxton’s goal after signing $100M deal with Twins: ‘Win as many rings as I can’

Byron Buxton has set his career goals on much bigger things now that his immediate need for long-term security has been realized.

The Twins finally locked down the dynamic center fielder’s services for the long haul following an abundance of uncertainty whether a deal would ever be reached when a seven-year, $100 million contract was made official at a Wednesday press conference.

“This is a special place for me. This is a special place for my family,” Buxton said at the press conference, via the Star Tribune. “There’s nowhere else we want to be.”

Buxton’s immense talent and rare ability to impact a game in myriad ways has never been in question. What complicated contract talks between the 27-year-old Buxton and the Twins was his inability to stay healthy, which in some cases could be attributed to his aggressive style of play and in other instances simply bad luck.

In 2018, Buxton only played in 28 games due to a litany of injuries. Such setbacks hampered him in the subsequent seasons, when he appeared in 87 games in 2019 and 39 in the shortened 2020 campaign.

In fact, the former No. 2 overall pick has made 100+ appearances in just one season, when he played in 140 games in 2017.

Buxton appeared in only 61 games in 2021 due to various injuries, including a hip strain and fractured hand. The production was there for Buxton when healthy, however, as he hit .306 with 23 doubles, 19 home runs and 32 RBI.

A player whose week-to-week availability has been continually in question throughout his seven-season MLB career led to complex negotiations between Buxton’s camp and the Twins. The parties were able to overcome concerns related to Buxton’s unavailability over significant stretches by crafting an incentive-laden deal which features a bonus structure that rewards Buxton for staying healthy.

Now, with a signed contract in hand that has been in the works for years, Buxton — who said in an MLB Network interview Wednesday that he feels “blessed and thankful to be able to put this uniform on for seven more years” — is ready to lead the Twins to a long-awaited return to postseason glory.

“My biggest goal here for me now is to win as many rings as I can to bring back to Minneapolis. That’s my biggest focus,” Buxton said. “I don’t have that scariness of, ‘Am I going to be here anymore?'”