News reports coming out of Oakland are reporting that the Oakland A’s have signed DH/1B Billy Butler to a 3 year contract worth $30 million. After spending his entire career with the Kansas City Royals and going to the World Series in the 2014 season, the 28 year old will take his talents to the East bay.
Butler hit .271/.359/.449/.808 with the Royals last season with 9 HRs and 66 RBIs.
The Royals decided not to exercise Butler’s $12.5 million offer after the season ended. Kansas City was supposedly involved in making a new deal with Butler to resign him, but the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement and Billy Beane and Oakland came in and swooped him up.
Oakland’s DH’s hit only .215 with an OBP of .288 and a slugging percentage of .344 last season. This move is a definite upgrade over what they had last year. When they traded Yoenis Cespedes they lost a major bat in the middle of their lineup, but this move should help a lot.
Butler isn’t too much of a difference in the field. He only played 37 games in the field while 108 were played at DH. He played a lot more 1B than expected because of the injury to Eric Hosmer that sidelined him for a portion of the season.
His fielding percentage isn’t as bad as people may think. In 2014, his FP was .993, which may give Bob Melvin some options at 1B if they need his services there.
The A’s don’t usually give out these big contracts so it will be interesting to see the reasoning for the signing from GM Billy Beane. Their starting rotation should be solid as it was for most of last year and they return a lot of the same players, as well.
Looking to the future, they still need someone at shortstop and eventually they’ll want to resign Josh Donaldson, there power hitting, all-star third baseman.
Back to Butler. This is a signing that came out of nowhere, but it makes sense. They need a power bat back in that lineup so this fits that mold fairly well. Now, we will see how Billy Beane manages the rest of the limited budget they have in Oakland.