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Reds have a blueprint for Jesse Winker's contract extension after Byron Buxton's new deal

Cincinnati Reds left fielder Jesse Winker (33) reacts as he rounds the bases.
Cincinnati Reds left fielder Jesse Winker (33) reacts as he rounds the bases. / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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If the Cincinnati Reds want to sign Jesse Winker to a contract extension, they need look no further than Byron Buxton's new deal.

Buxton agreed to a seven-year/$100M extension with the Minnesota Twins over the weekend.

The Reds' Jesse Winker is comparable to Twins' Byron Buxton.

Buxton has all the talent in the world, and is a much better defender than Winker. But, like Winker, Buxton struggles to stay on the field.

Buxton was entering his final year of arbitration and was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to make $7.5M in 2022.

The same outlet predicts that Winker will take home $6.8M in what will be his second of three trips through the arbitration process.

Byron Buxton has everything you look for in a major leaguer. He hits for average and power, has plenty of speed, and plays next-level defense.

But in six major league seasons, Buxton has eclipsed 100 games played just once (2017). Reds outfielder Jesse Winker has struggled to stay on the field as well.

A myriad of injuries, ranging from a shoulder subluxation to an intercostal strain, have kept Winker below 120 games played in each of his first four seasons.

Buxton's career fWAR of 12.9 more than outpaces Winker's 6.9 fWAR, but Buxton has two more years of experience.

Over the last three seasons, Byron Buxton has a slash line of .277/.321/.575 with a wRC+ of 135. The Twins star has 42 home runs, 105 RBIs, and 25 stolen bases during that time as well.

Jesse Winker, during that same three-year period, has hit .284/.379/.523 with a wRC+ of 134. Cincinnati's slugger has mashed 52 round trippers and knocked in 132 runs in that span.

The Reds should sign Jesse Winker to a new deal this offseason.

Buxton's new deal is loaded with incentives, and I would suggest the Reds follow suit if they decide to offer Winker a contract extension.

The Athletics' Ken Rosenthal offered breakdown of Byron Buxton's new deal.

It includes a $1M signing bonus, a $9M salary for next season, and $15M per year for the rest of the contract.

Buxton also receives additional salary if he eclipses a certain number of plate appearances.

Minnesota's cornerstone can also tripper huge bonus money if he's part of the MVP conversation; earning up to $8M if he takes home the AL's most prestigious award.

This is exactly the type of contract the Cincinnati Reds should look to offer Jesse Winker this offseason.

Next. Predicting the Reds 2026 starting rotation. dark

An incentive-laden deal that buys out multiple years beyond Winker's arbitration window is the ticket to keeping Da Wink in Cincinnati while not breaking the bank either.

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