Billy Butler Newsbeat
Monday, November 24, 2014
The latest dose of inside info from the heart of Billy Beane’s Oakland A’s operation this week came from a most unlikely and precocious outlet.
Thirteen-year-old Devan Fink, a middle schooler from Northern Virginia, was the first to report the A’s were close to signing free agent Billy Butler.
Then 18-year-old Robert Murray, a college freshman from Wisconsin and with Fink the co-proprietor of MLBDailyRumors.com, was the first to report the details of Butler’s pact.
“It wasn’t a familial connection,” Fink told MLB Network on Thursday morning, while missing English class. “I just tried to reach out to people who might know things and found someone who did.”
Murray said he received a phone call from a source with the contract details.
The two teenage reporters have never met in person, and say they establish most of their contacts on Twitter. Welcome to 2014.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Will fans end up celebrating, or Grieve-ing?
The Athletics have agreed to a three-year, $30MM deal with free agent DH Billy Butler, as first reported via Twitter by Robert Murray. ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports that the deal is finalized.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
When Billy Butler thinks about next season and ponders the possibility of not being in a Royals uniform, he quickly tries to think of something else.
“It would definitely be painful,” Butler tells FOXSportsKansasCity.com.
Butler is in the final season of a four-year, $30 million deal he signed in 2011. There is an extended year to the deal, but it is a club option valued at $12.5 million with a $1 million buyout.
The Royals, naturally, won’t comment on their plans with Butler now. But it seems highly unlikely they would exercise the option at that price.
And that means this could be Butler’s last season with the Royals, the only team he has known since they drafted him out of high school 10 years ago. He is fully aware of this, of course.
“Absolutely,” he says. “This game is a business. I know what my job is for now and through the rest of the season. After that, who knows? That is what happens when you have an expiring contract.
“Any player with any team who has to go through that uncertainty knows what I’m talking about. But you just focus on each night and try to play the game right and then ...”
Butler’s voice trails off as if not to think of the future. Make no mistake, he wants to stay with the Royals….
And Butler has always dreamed of playing his entire career in Kansas City, just like George Brett did. And, in fact, Butler has borrowed Brett’s oft-used line that “everything I have in life I have because of the Royals.”
That is why Butler said he would be willing to take less money in a renegotiated deal just to stay with the Royals.
“I would definitely be more than happy to make that an option,” he says. “I’d do it because I love playing here. It’s all I have ever known. There’s been a lot of tough years, but there have been a lot of good memories, too.
“I don’t want to let that go. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
The last thing this eight-years-in-the-Processing Royals season needs is drama, but here it is anyway. One of the team’s highest-paid and longest-tenured players feels singled out and is going passive-aggressive to make his point and subtly call out a teammate.
Ego and self-interest are on both sides of this, team and player each having legitimate beef. Billy Butler justifiably sees himself as the club’s most established hitter, and wonders why he’s been occasionally benched and now moved down in the lineup for the second time while Eric Hosmer appears to have birthrights to the top of the batting order every day.
The truth is that Hosmer’s spot in the lineup is being evaluated, but for now, the team sees Butler as an underperforming and now overpaid hitter on a roster in desperate need of consistent production, exposing an ego that’s always simmered just beneath the surface.
Ned Yost has final say on the lineup, which is put together with the input of the coaches and front office, including sabermetric specialists. None of them would say it publicly, but moving Butler down in the lineup while keeping Hosmer higher is as clear a sign as the team can give that — track record or not — they have more faith in Hosmer reaching his potential than in Butler regaining his past.
Wait, what? You buried the lede! The Royals have sabermetric specialists????
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