Royals, Blue Jays Discussed Billy Butler Trade

The Royals and Blue Jays have talked about a trade that would send Billy Butler and prospects to Toronto, The Globe & Mail's Jeff Blair reports (Twitter links).  No deal is imminent, however, as Blair says the talks haven't "moved beyond [the] discussion stage."

Butler was rumored to be on the shopping block earlier this winter, especially during the Royals' pursuit of Carlos Beltran.  Even with Beltran now a Yankee, ESPN's Jayson Stark reported on Tuesday that the Royals could still be looking to move Butler, and would perhaps then attempt to sign Nelson Cruz.  The rationale behind a Butler trade would be to free up payroll space and also free up the Royals' DH spot so a defensively-challenged player like Cruz wouldn't be locked into playing the field every day.

Butler will earn $8MM in 2014 and the Royals hold a $12.5MM option (with a $1MM buyout) on his services for 2015.  The 27-year-old slugger hit .289/.374/.412 with 15 homers in 668 PA in 2013, solid numbers that nevertheless represented a step back from the .854 OPS and 21 homers that Butler averaged from 2009-12.

It seems that Toronto wouldn't be able to make a move for Butler until they could unload Adam Lind, the team's incumbent designated hitter.  Lind outhit Butler (23 homers, .854 OPS) in 147 fewer PA in 2013, but Lind is three years older, posted subpar numbers from 2010-12 and struggles to hit left-handed pitching, whereas Butler has produced against both lefties and righties.  The Pirates showed interest in Lind earlier this offseason but trade talks with the Jays didn't develop.


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247 Comments on "Royals, Blue Jays Discussed Billy Butler Trade"


Koby2
1 year 8 months ago

insert Charlie Brown groan here

double m
1 year 8 months ago

Would love to see him with the Jays

The_Porcupine
1 year 8 months ago

I really dislike the idea of trading Butler. The Royals do not have the offense to withstand his loss. And I really don’t think swapping Butler for Cruz is any improvement. Nor do any of the remaining free agents seem like any legitimate upgrade. Even if the Blue Jays include Rasmus in the deal (as I’ve heard his name in rumors recently), I really don’t see the advantage offensively. If you have to trade Butler, at least get major league caliber rotation help (which Toronto does not have to offer).

Lefty_Orioles_Fan
Lefty_Orioles_Fan
1 year 8 months ago

Butler is a better hitter than Cruz.
Butler is a fan favorite in KC
I don’t understand, why KC would do this?
I mean they would also have to give up a Draft Choice for Cruz to sign him
It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever!
Also, I think you’re going to see Urban Santana re-sign with the Royals.
No one wants to cough up draft choices!

Lefty_Orioles_Fan
Lefty_Orioles_Fan
1 year 8 months ago

Butler is a better hitter than Cruz.
Butler is a fan favorite in KC
I don’t understand, why KC would do this?
I mean they would also have to give up a Draft Choice for Cruz to sign him
It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever!
Also, I think you’re going to see Urban Santana re-sign with the Royals.
No one wants to cough up draft choices!

Ivan Verastica
1 year 8 months ago

Butler AND Prospects?
Don’t you mean Butler for prospects?

Joe Blow
1 year 8 months ago

You forget, it’s the royals.

yankeestarz
1 year 8 months ago

Doubt it, actually. The Royals are in win-now mode. They’d probably get an established veteran in return. Probably Lind, Rasums, and Bautista? They were on the block before if I remember correctly. It would be interesting to see what each side would get.

user9999
1 year 8 months ago

haha lind, rasmus and bautista for butler? your kidding right… in what world do you live in?

Ivan Verastica
1 year 8 months ago

PLUS PROSPECTS

user9999
1 year 8 months ago

Jays are in win mode right now too, why would they trade some of their best hitters for one good hitter and prospects… makes no sense. Unless they sign other players after which I highly doubt since they never sign anyone

malna
1 year 8 months ago

The Royals do not have the prospects to trade for Lind, Rasmus, and Bautista. Period. Stop.

Even if Butler and his entire salary are included in the deal.

Ivan Verastica
1 year 8 months ago

PLUS PROSPECTS

user9999
1 year 8 months ago

haha lind, rasmus and bautista for butler? your kidding right… in what world do you live in?

Out of the Cellar
1 year 8 months ago

Would be a bad idea for the Royals. Can’t imagine trading Butler PLUS prospects.

JerryTheScholar
1 year 8 months ago

If the Royals are sending prospects, I highly doubt it’s to sign Cruz. It’s probably a package to bring in either Encarnacion or Bautista — probably the latter of the two.

Royals Fan
1 year 8 months ago

Has to be Bautista. Butler PLUS prospects isn’t bringing back Rasmus. With Moose at third it isn’t Encarnacion either.

JerryTheScholar
1 year 8 months ago

Exactly my thoughts. I know Encarnacion has been asked about a lot as well as Bautista, but it’s definitely Bautista. Royals want a power hitting OF. Just makes too much sense.

Sohaib Syed
1 year 8 months ago

you know it doesn’t really make sense for blue jays, Edwin and bautista are way more valuable even for a Butler plus prospects trade

Jays need pitching, if they were to trade bautista they’d want pitching back, like major league ready pitching

Oren Jungreis
1 year 8 months ago

I dont think the royals are into a trade like this, but the royals have ventura who will make a splash this year, he has upside of a #2/3 i really like him.

Sohaib Syed
1 year 8 months ago

but blue jays just like royals are in a win now mode and prospects just don’t cut it , we have stromann and Drew that are ready but we need proven pitchers, i dont see royals as a good trading partner for our elite bats

Oren Jungreis
1 year 8 months ago

How do i unsubscribe to reply emails??? never knew i was doing that.

i totally agree with you, however, ventura is ready to make a splash in the bigs and the jays seriously consider this trade, maybe we jump in then sign choo? i dont know, all these things im saying i dont think will happen, im just speculating

Oren Jungreis
1 year 8 months ago

How do i unsubscribe to reply emails??? never knew i was doing that.

i totally agree with you, however, ventura is ready to make a splash in the bigs and the jays seriously consider this trade, maybe we jump in then sign choo? i dont know, all these things im saying i dont think will happen, im just speculating

Sohaib Syed
1 year 8 months ago

but blue jays just like royals are in a win now mode and prospects just don’t cut it , we have stromann and Drew that are ready but we need proven pitchers, i dont see royals as a good trading partner for our elite bats

JerryTheScholar
1 year 8 months ago

While I tend to agree with you, Bautista is a much better option than Cruz, especially when he will be less in AAV than Cruz.

Oren Jungreis
1 year 8 months ago

True, i agree completely.

Maybe this trade is

Lorenzo Cain
Ventura
Butler

for

Jbats?

again, i dont think it will happen just a deal that i can see both sides making. As a fan though, id hate to see bautista leave :(((( i dont think it will happen i really dont want it to unless we are clearly destroying the trade haha.

JerryTheScholar
1 year 8 months ago

That’s absolutely on the right track.. The Royals will have to add in the prospects since Butler only has one year of control left, and getting OF as well as SP depth is probably what they are looking for.

Oren Jungreis
1 year 8 months ago

Butler has two years of control left i think.

JerryTheScholar
1 year 8 months ago

I thought he was a FA after this season… I may be wrong on that.

Oren Jungreis
1 year 8 months ago

I am quite sure he has two options?

JerryTheScholar
1 year 8 months ago

Cots Contracts showed just one club option. I think this year is guaranteed and 2015 is the option.

Oren Jungreis
1 year 8 months ago

Oh yea, true, makes sense.

JerryTheScholar
1 year 8 months ago

Ahh! He has a club option. I apologize.

harry sailor
1 year 8 months ago

three way trade for price ??? send the prospects to tampa

JerryTheScholar
1 year 8 months ago

I beg to differ, Royals have a few good SP prospects in Ventura, Zimmer and Almonte. Depending on how quickly they believe they could progress could make this a great trade for them. Include a Bubba Starling with one of those pitchers and Butler, could definitely be a win for the Jays. And for what it’s worth, the only thing that Bautista truly has on Butler is the ability to play OF. OBP, SLG, K rate are almost identical.

http://www.fangraphs.com/comparison.aspx?playerid=7399&position=1B/DH&page=4&players=1887

Sohaib Syed
1 year 8 months ago

you know it doesn’t really make sense for blue jays, Edwin and bautista are way more valuable even for a Butler plus prospects trade

Jays need pitching, if they were to trade bautista they’d want pitching back, like major league ready pitching

popular_mechanics_for_pitchers
1 year 8 months ago

No

popular_mechanics_for_pitchers
1 year 8 months ago

No

cmanthomas
1 year 8 months ago

pretty silly comment. bautista for butler makes absolutely no sense. this trade only goes through if lind is moved elsewhere. this would probably be either a three team deal or for rasmus and Starters, not bautista.

double m
1 year 8 months ago

If they are trying to shed payroll for Cruz they won’t be bringing in either of those two

JerryTheScholar
1 year 8 months ago

That’s why I said it wasn’t to sign Cruz. What other player could they be after that would require Butler AND prospects?

double m
1 year 8 months ago

Sounding like maybe a three way for it to make sense.

JerryTheScholar
1 year 8 months ago

That’s why I said it wasn’t to sign Cruz. What other player could they be after that would require Butler AND prospects?

Kevin Jones
1 year 8 months ago

if the Royals trade for Bautista, you don’t need to sign Cruz.

John Meloche
1 year 8 months ago

Almost no chance it’s Bautista since he is significantly more valuable as a hitter and plays multiple positions and is not a liability on the bases. Butler is a good hitter but he has negative value on the bases and on defense.

Oren Jungreis
1 year 8 months ago

I agree here. I would have to see someone like Ventura come back to even consider it good for the jays

John Meloche
1 year 8 months ago

The Jays don’t have a surplus of valuable OF’s but I think Lind + prospect or something we are not considering like Gose +.

Oren Jungreis
1 year 8 months ago

I just dont see it from the royals perspective. I know we dont, but im just thinking that if we trade jbats in this deal (which i dont think we would) its something we would get back,

John Meloche
1 year 8 months ago

What do the Royals need most? Jays have a great bullpen, no SP, some fringe Young cheap OF SP depth, very young low A depth and Lind

Oren Jungreis
1 year 8 months ago

I am a jays fan so i know what we have. The royals have a great bullpen (probably better than the jays) with a top closer in greg holland. i honestly dont know what they could be discussing to be honest

John Meloche
1 year 8 months ago

The Jays don’t have a surplus of valuable OF’s but I think Lind + prospect or something we are not considering like Gose +.

Royals Fan
1 year 8 months ago

Which is why it is Butler PLUS prospects.

JerryTheScholar
1 year 8 months ago

Sure. I completely agree. But that’s also where the prospects come into play. You wouldn’t take Butler/Starling/top SP prospect for Bautista? Butler may be a liability on the basepaths, but his OBP and SLG are right on par with Bautista.

Sohaib Syed
1 year 8 months ago

but are we just getting his OBP, SLG etc and not his DH only liability and libility on the basepaths? my point is overall he is no where near bautista no matter how you look at it,

we are in a win now mode so i dont think jays nation would be satisfied with prospect pitching, we have that in our farm system, we need MLB ready pitching

JerryTheScholar
1 year 8 months ago

That’s one of the key reasons for the prospects. Bubba Starling and a top SP prospect from them would be light years better for that team with Butler than Bautista — win now mode or not.

Sohaib Syed
1 year 8 months ago

i’d be really happy with that trade only if we were in a rebuilding mode , but not right now, we have our core together for next 3 to 4 years and in that we need the best team, i don’t think you can sell that trade to our casual fans who buy tickets for next year and don’t care about the future much

JerryTheScholar
1 year 8 months ago

Everyone. I’m not saying that Butler = Bautista. I don’t know how this is getting confused like this. I’m saying Butler + prospects = Bautista. Ventura pitched at the AAA level and some in the big leagues. Who’s to say the Blue Jays don’t think that’s he’s ready for the big show permanently?

John Meloche
1 year 8 months ago

Bautista’s worst year in the last 4 generated 3 WAR in 92 games. Butlers career best is 2.9. Bautista’s best is 7.7

Josh Blackfeild
1 year 8 months ago

Very impressive for only 92 games.

Sohaib Syed
1 year 8 months ago

woah goes on to show how crazy this bautista for butler + prospects talk is

JerryTheScholar
1 year 8 months ago

That’s because of the defensive value that Bautista brings, which we have already stated. And do you really think Bautista will EVER walk at a 20% rate again?

John Meloche
1 year 8 months ago

Sorry. His defense is actually a slight negative. Look at baseball reference. He produced 8.3 oWAR and -.7 dWAR

Sohaib Syed
1 year 8 months ago

i knew he wasnt that good of an OF but he was pretty good last year though, his arm alone saves allot of run which i don’t thin dWAR accounts for

John Meloche
1 year 8 months ago

I am not sure but people have stopped trying to run on him. Lol

JamieFC
1 year 8 months ago

His range is atrocious…

JerryTheScholar
1 year 8 months ago

Yes. A full-time DH is going to be much worse in the sabermetric stats of WAR and whatnot. I agree. I’m not at all disputing that fact. Nor am I saying Bulter is even with Bautista. I’d take Bautista over Butler any time, any day. Does not change the fact that getting cost controlled pitching that is ready for the majors (in Ventura), a DH/1B in Butler and other pieces is more valuable than Bautista. Just like the Tigers trading Fister and Fielder away. Were the players they got back better than those two? No, but it filled holes in a cost effective way. And the Tigers are still in a win-now frame of mind as well.

malna
1 year 8 months ago

Yeah Bautista is not that good of a defender, at any position. He is an average RF, mostly because of his arm, and would probably be a half decent LF, but never plays there. Don’t really want to see him at 3B anymore, and he can play 1B as well as any half decent athlete can…

Kevin Jones
1 year 8 months ago

now is the time to trade for Butler, coming off a down season.

confused that it’s Buter and prospects, but no mention of who would be going to KC. was this supposed to be Butler FOR prospects?

Kevin Jones
1 year 8 months ago

now is the time to trade for Butler, coming off a down season.

confused that it’s Buter and prospects, but no mention of who would be going to KC. was this supposed to be Butler FOR prospects?

charles stevens
1 year 8 months ago

Why would you get rid of Butler and his nice contract for two more years to replace him with Cruz and the stupid contract he wants? I’m a Ranger fan so I don’t get the Royals logic with this.

charles stevens
1 year 8 months ago

Why would you get rid of Butler and his nice contract for two more years to replace him with Cruz and the stupid contract he wants? I’m a Ranger fan so I don’t get the Royals logic with this.

Jimz
1 year 8 months ago

Rasmus for Billy Butler and Prospects

charles stevens
1 year 8 months ago

If true is a terrible trade for the Royals.

double m
1 year 8 months ago

I would hate to see Rasmus traded for Butler. Not that we don’t think Butler is good but Jays fans luv Rasmus.

malna
1 year 8 months ago

How is that a terrible trade?

Sohaib Syed
1 year 8 months ago

yep definitely makes sense , Rasmus is way more valuable and cheaper than a defensively challenged DH only with moderate power

malna
1 year 8 months ago

[removed for not reading hard enough]

1 year 8 months ago

Read harder.

malna
1 year 8 months ago

Indeed.

Jimz
1 year 8 months ago

In Rogers Center he would have double his HR total

Royals Fan
1 year 8 months ago

No way. Royals need a right handed, power bat in the corner. It’s Bautista.

Jimz
1 year 8 months ago

Rasmus for Billy Butler and Prospects

cmanthomas
1 year 8 months ago

Butler would likely come as a secondary deal once the jays first move other pieces, like adam lind, for pitching. He is a high OBP, high AVG guy with excellent RBI power. Very reliable and useful player that every team desires. This would be a great addition to the Jays organization going forward. This addition could even allow the jays to move Encarnacion for that top tier pitcher. great potential here

1 year 8 months ago

Adam Lind doesn’t get you anything useful in terms of pitching.

1 year 8 months ago

“excellent RBI power”

Which is a thing, apparently…

Noah Maimon
1 year 8 months ago

I think it would be Jose Bautista and lind maybe for butler and a top prospect,

Since the royals could put lind at DH, and could use Bautista’s bat and arm in Right field

And, the jays now have the former hitting couch of the royals, who is familiar with butler, and could use a top pitching prospect from the royals since they are looking for pitching

Oren Jungreis
1 year 8 months ago

Only if its multiple good prospects… Bautista>Butler and then just adding lind? makes no sense to me.

S.M. Jenkins
1 year 8 months ago

I don’t know if the Royals have the type of prospects that would make a swap with BIlly Butler & Bautista as the principles palatable honestly.

Oren Jungreis
1 year 8 months ago

Yes they completely do.

Zimmer
Almonte
Ventura
Starling
Mondesi

if the jays can get ventura or zimmer back in a deal id be quite happy. but i really dont want to trade jose bautista unless its a clear cut win for us.

Royals Fan
1 year 8 months ago

Zimmer is untouchable, but you are right. Royals definitely have the prospects.

Oren Jungreis
1 year 8 months ago

I would assume so. Again, i dont want to trade jose bautista at all.

What if it were

Lind + Rasmus for Butler + cain+ventura+another prospect? i dont know, throwing something out there. the royals get their DH back, and a great CF

Noah Maimon
1 year 8 months ago

I dont know, I think its a great time to trade Bautista, because he may start to age soon and his numbers are also declining,
but who knows

S.M. Jenkins
1 year 8 months ago

For Billy Butler though?

Noah Maimon
1 year 8 months ago

ya but they would also get prospects, which they could flip for a starter there seeking

Oren Jungreis
1 year 8 months ago

Id rather do this deal, rasmus is FA after this year and jbats could net us a legit #2 pitcher like a guy like shields (not actually just a pitcher like him) and prolly a prospect. Maybe send him to Philly for Lee or preferably Hamels and then philly adds in something else nice. then toronto can sign choo (wishful thinking, i doubt it) or something like that.

S.M. Jenkins
1 year 8 months ago

Whatever the feasibility of all that, I doubt that Toronto would want to get in on either of those pitchers considering their remaining salaries owed.

Oren Jungreis
1 year 8 months ago

We could probably get the phillies to bring the salary down a bit, i mean they would be getting jbats. but a Legit pitcher is something we need and dont have.

Royals Fan
1 year 8 months ago

That’s the thing, the Royals don’t want a DH….otherwise they would keep Butler. Butler and Cain and Ventura for Rasmus is crazy talk.

S.M. Jenkins
1 year 8 months ago

Kyle Zimmer & Yordano Ventura are nice pieces but I don’t think they make up the difference between Bautista & Butler. Considering the fact that the Jays are almost certainly going to try to tweak what they felt should’ve been a contender, I don’t see the fit.

Oren Jungreis
1 year 8 months ago

Zimmer is a potential ace and ventura is an MLB ready Future #2/3 and im sure he would do well this year in the bigs. im just saying that the royals do have enough to sway us to make a deal with jbats, the issue is whether theyd do it or not.

1 year 8 months ago

Bautista’s value is down. He’s past his peak (not to be confused with “bad” or anything), 32, and has only 2 years (plus an option) left on his deal. Trading 2 years of Bautista for a year+ of Butler and, say, 6 years of Starling or Zimmer plus a lesser prospect sounds kind of tempting.

JerryTheScholar
1 year 8 months ago

Lind would be to cut his salary and create the spot for Butler. Makes sense, I don’t agree with it.

Oren Jungreis
1 year 8 months ago

Only if its multiple good prospects… Bautista>Butler and then just adding lind? makes no sense to me.

Josh Blackfeild
1 year 8 months ago

Thats a joke right?

Sohaib Syed
1 year 8 months ago

lol are you serious? this isn’t a fantasy league, Lind and Jose for butler and ‘a’ top prospect, just so you know we are not the royals

joe smith
1 year 8 months ago

Lets get real here people. There is no way the Jays are trading Bautista for Butler, I can’t even imagine why some would come up with this. If it’s Rasmus it’s a win for the Royals. At best it’s Rasmus, even then the Royals win. I can’t see this Rumor going anywhere anyway, it was a discussion that had no chance from the start. If I’m not mistaken this was started by Blair, if so, just let it die already.

joe smith
1 year 8 months ago

I would have loved to let it go there but it’s Billy Butler. He can’t run, can’t play defence, has little power. Jays are better off with Lind. I wouldn’t even trade Rasmus for Butler and a decent prospect, I’d rather just lock up Rasmus. If you wan’t Gose though he’s all yours. He’s really FAST…Like Bonifacio fast.

GrilledCheese39
1 year 8 months ago

I’d like to know what a hitting couch is. A few teams might be interested in those.

George Vander Buist
1 year 8 months ago

Bautista for Butler and prospects and Jays probablyy flip the prospects along with Lind to a third team for a pitcher.

John Meloche
1 year 8 months ago

Really no idea on Bautista’s value. Not a chance.

John Meloche
1 year 8 months ago

Really no idea on Bautista’s value. Not a chance.

Josh Blackfeild
1 year 8 months ago

Why trade Bautista then?

Josh Blackfeild
1 year 8 months ago

Why trade Bautista then?

Federal League
1 year 8 months ago

Why are the Royals always trying to trade Billy Butler?

Baseball Realism
1 year 8 months ago

Because he is DH/coming off the bench. They have a better 1bman already which makes him expendable. Not too hard to fathom

Aron
1 year 8 months ago

Please AA do this somehow. I love Butlers consistency

S.M. Jenkins
1 year 8 months ago

All of his value is derived from his bat though & he backslid in 2013. Considering his lack of true natural power, I’d be fine with him at the right price but I’m not as psyched at the possibility as you.

Aron
1 year 8 months ago

Man we really dont need more guys with power, the combo of joey, eddy, rasmus, hopefully lawrie and lind should be enough. Havin butler in that two hole behind reyes I believe would do wonders

Kevin Jones
1 year 8 months ago

if the player going to the Royals is Jose Bautista, then what do the Jays do for RF?

Royals Fan
1 year 8 months ago

How about his then, we will throw in Maxwell or Lough. Your choice….
Come on Dayton, turn Billy into Joey Bats!

Josh Blackfeild
1 year 8 months ago

I don’t see Bautista being a part of this deal.

Kevin Jones
1 year 8 months ago

Rasmus and maybe Lind for Butler and a prospect? or other pieces?

Guest
1 year 8 months ago

Rasmus and Lind would be way too much.

Kevin Jones
1 year 8 months ago

maybe one of the other OF coming from KC. if Rasmus would be going, be nice to put someone other than Gose in CF full time.

Kevin Jones
1 year 8 months ago

prospect or prospects are also involved.
LI think now is the time to buy low on Butler, and sell high on Lind. Lind is a platoon player who can’t hit LHP.

Baseball Realism
1 year 8 months ago

Why would the Jays trade Rasmus for prospects ? Rasmus is only 27 years old and already closing in on 4 years MLB service.

malna
1 year 8 months ago

Rasmus and Lind for Butler would be so much overkill that the Royals FO would be taken out back for some life lessons if they did not immediately accept this trade.

1 year 8 months ago

Are you actually Billy Butler? Do you have any idea how badly you’re over-valuing a DH with middling power? Good lord.

John Meloche
1 year 8 months ago

Rasmus was ranked the #6th CF in the MLB last year in 118 games… so ya + Lind is not happening not to mention it creates a giant hole for the Jays… AA has clearly said he only trades his position players if it actually makes them better… this makes them about 4.5 wins worse

Josh Blackfeild
1 year 8 months ago

I don’t see Bautista being a part of this deal.