The Twins won’t be recalling Byron Buxton to the Major League roster, a decision that puts the team in line to gain an extra year of control over the young outfielder. The situation has already created controversy, and there seems to be at least a chance that Buxton and his representatives at Jet Sports Management could look into filing a grievance with the league. In a statement to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (subscription required), agency owner B.B. Abbott said “We will examine this against the rights provided to all players under the CBA. Until then, we will let Twins fans form their own opinions about this decision.” MLBPA executive director Tony Clark also commented on Buxton, saying that the union “will review all options with Byron and his representatives.”
Minnesota GM Thad Levine did mention that the team was aware of Buxton’s service time circumstances, and Rosenthal is skeptical about the three larger factors (concerns about the wrist injury that sent Buxton to the DL, a lack of room in the Twins outfield, and “a performance standpoint factor“) that Levine cited as the chief reasons for Buxton remaining in Triple-A. Buxton has not only been healthy enough to play regularly in Triple-A, Rosenthal observes, but the outfielder has also been hitting quite well in recent games. Rosenthal wonders if the Twins’ desire to retain Buxton for an extra season will cost them in the long run, as Buxton may now be soured on signing a longer-term extension to remain in Minnesota beyond 2022.
Here’s more from around baseball on this Labor Day weekend…
- Justin Upton suffered a concussion while avoiding a collision with Angels teammate Andrelton Simmons during Saturday’s game, the outfielder told MLB.com’s Maria Guardado and other reporters. Upton came out of the game and didn’t play on Sunday, as he’ll be out of action until his symptoms fully subside. Upton’s first full season in a Halos uniform has been an impressive one, as the 31-year-old has 26 homers and a .265/.349/.467 slash line over 533 plate appearances.
- The Nationals will activate right-hander Erick Fedde from the 60-day DL to start Tuesday’s game, Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com writes. Fedde has been sidelined with inflammation in his throwing shoulder, the latest in a series of injuries that has set back his young career. Fedde has only 43 1/3 Major League innings to his name over 2017-18, though he’ll get a chance at showcasing himself in September. As Zuckerman notes, the Nationals may use Gio Gonzalez’s former rotation spot to give starts to multiple young arms, including Fedde and possibly Joe Ross, who is on track to make his return from Tommy John surgery sometime this month.
- With the Athletics rolling, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle wonders why the team hasn’t extended manager Bob Melvin, who is only under contract through the 2019 season. Failing to keep Melvin (or, for that matter, baseball operations head Billy Beane and GM David Forst) from “lame-duck status” in the final year of their deals threatens to undermine the progress that the A’s have made this season, Shea opines. Back in June, the Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reported that there some belief that the team’s upper management wouldn’t retain Beane, Forst, and/or Melvin beyond the end of their current contracts. If this was ownership’s plan, however, one wonders if things have changed in the wake of the Athletics’ hot streak and return to contention.