Lengthy, lucrative process demonstrates loyalty between Buxton, Twins

To understand the motivation of the second $100 million man in Twins history, it’s helpful to listen to the first. So tell us, Joe Mauer — the day you signed for $184 million, the richest contract in Minnesota pro sports history — were you aware that you could have made even more money elsewhere?

“The short answer is yes,” Mauer said after congratulating Byron Buxton at Target Field on Wednesday. “But where Byron and I are similar is that we both wanted to be here. I never saw myself in another uniform, and obviously he wanted to stay here, too.”

He will through at least 2028 under terms of the seven-year contract Buxton signed Wednesday, the eve of a lockout that could delay his eighth season with the team that drafted him second overall in 2012. The deal guarantees him $100 million — $10 million in 2022 and $15 million from 2023-28 — with hefty bonuses if he stays healthy enough to bat more than 500 times, and between $3 million and $8 million more for any season he’s among the top 10 players to receive MVP votes.

“Being able to sign a contract like this and set up a future for my family and kids is pretty special to me,” said Buxton, who will turn 28 later this month, shortly after affixing his signature to the contract. “This is the place we want to be, and there’s nowhere else.”…

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