9:24pm: A three-year deal is “quite close,” per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). Nightengale tweets that the sides are set to embark upon a three-year pact along the lines of that rumored to be agreed upon per Robert Murray (via Twitter) earlier this evening.
7:59pm: The Athletics are in “serious talks” with free agent designated hitter Billy Butler, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). As Rosenthal notes, he is confirming a report from Cover Those Bases (Twitter link).
MLBTR’s Steve Adams recently predicted a three-year, $30MM deal for the bat-only Butler, who is coming off a sub-optimal walk year but does hit the market at just 28 years of age. My personal take was that Butler would end up settling for a one-year deal since he is such an inflexible player, though the chatter to date seems to indicate that he will have little difficulty getting a multi-year guarantee.
It is unclear, of course, what the A’s interest means. On the one hand, the club would seem unlikely to commit a significant amount of cash over multiple years, given its traditional reliance on a mix-and-match DH spot. On the other, it would appear that Butler is not wanting for suitors.