SUNDAY, 9:31am: Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star has the financial details of the deal (Twitter link). Butler will earn $3MM in 2011, and $8MM per year from 2012 to 2014. The contract also includes a $2MM signing bonus and a $12.5MM club option for 2015, with a $1MM buyout.
SATURDAY, 8:03pm: The Royals have confirmed the agreement in a press release. It's a four-year contract with a fifth year option for 2015.
10:11am: Billy Butler told MLB.com's Dick Kaegel that he and the Royals have agreed to a four-year, $30MM contract extension. The deal buys out all three of his arbitration-eligible years plus one year of free agency. Butler is represented by Greg Genske of Legacy Sports.
MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows that Butler filed for $4.3MM in arbitration earlier this week while the Royals countered with $3.4MM. Kansas City recently picked up an extra $12.4MM when Gil Meche unexpectedly retired.
Butler, 25 in April, has hit .309/.375/.480 with 36 homers over the last two seasons. Just 28 players boast an OPS that high during that time (min. 1,000 PA), but Evan Longoria, Carlos Gonzalez, Ryan Zimmerman, Troy Tulowitzki, and Butler are the only ones to do so at age 25 or younger. Clearly, the Royals' first baseman has emerged as one of the game's most dangerous young hitters.
Kansas City owns the game's best farm system, and they've now ensured that their best position player at the Major League level will be around when some of those highly touted prospects start to arrive. MLBTR's readers discussed Butler's future with the Royals after the team traded Zack Greinke to the Brewers last month.