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Royals, Billy Butler agree to four-year, $30 million extension

Jan 22, 2011, 11:33 AM EDT

Billy Butler royals

According to Dick Kaegal of, the Royals and Billy Butler have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a four-year, $30 million extension.

Butler, who was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, filed for $4.3 million and was offered $3.4 million from the Royals when arbitration figures were exchanged earlier this week. The new contract will cover all three of his arbitration seasons and his first year of free agency.

Butler has a .299/.359/.457 batting line over his first four seasons in the big leagues. Though his power numbers dipped a bit last season, he established career-highs with a .318 batting average, .388 on-base percentage, an .857 OPS and 189 hits. Butler doesn’t turn 25 years old until April and should be an important part of a promising rebuilding process in Kansas City.

  1. Jeremiah Graves - Jan 22, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    Butler has the potential to be a real big star. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the year the power really turns on, he’s got the build to be a big-time masher and has a solid eye at the plate. Good move by the Royals.

  2. baseballstars - Jan 22, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    I don’t understand all the hype for Butler. He’s a .310 BA, 15-20 HR hitter. By no means bad, but mediocre when compared to his companions at first base. He’s young so maybe his power will grow, but the hype has been (for the most part) unwarranted.

    • craggt - Jan 23, 2011 at 11:45 PM

      If you compare him to Miguel Cabrera or Albert Pujos sure but in the AL first base isn’t all that jacked a position. If you look at OPS numbers for AL-Qualified First Basemen Butler is third behind Cabrera and Konerko and ahead of Teixeira. Of course Morneau was out the entire second half of the season but Butler is really the only good, young first baseman in the AL right now, (besides Cabrera who is 3 years older.)

  3. craggt - Jan 23, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    Doesn’t declaring that the royals are ‘rebuilding’ imply that they were at some point built up? They haven’t had a winning season since 2003 and haven’t been to the postseason since they won the world series in 1985

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