The Royals have announced that they’ve declined their option on 1B/DH Billy Butler. They will pay Butler a $1MM buyout, and he is now a free agent. Butler, a 2004 first round pick who has spent his entire career with the organization, would like to work out a deal to stay with the Royals, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star tweets. McCullough also notes that the Royals are interested in bringing Butler back, but at a lesser salary.
The Royals’ decision was expected. Butler’s option was for $12.5MM, a big expenditure for a small-payroll team, particularly given that his .271/.323/.379 line in 603 plate appearances this season represented his worst offensive season since 2008.