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Billy Butler’s new extension provides the Royals flexibility

Jan 23, 2011, 8:56 AM EDT

Billy Butler

Royals first baseman Billy Butler agreed to a four-year, $30 million contract extension with the Royals on Saturday morning.  Now Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star has the financial breakdown of the deal.

Butler will make $3 million this year, $8 million in 2012, 2013 and 2014, then possibly $12.5 million on a club option for 2015.  He was also given a $2 million signing bonus and will take a $1 million buyout if that 2015 option is not picked up.

It’s a well-crafted deal.  Instead of offering Butler a contract that gets richer and richer after every passing arbitration season, the Royals are going to essentially pay him a flat rate from 2012-2014.  That means a larger than normal payout next year, but it will help Kansas City stay flexible with their payroll throughout the course of the contract.

The Reds are probably wishing they had worked out a similar pact with Joey Votto, who was inked to a three-year, $38 million contract extension last week.  He’ll be making $17 million in his final season under the new deal, which will probably hamstring the Cincinnati front office from adding any pieces in the winter of 2012-2013.  Of course, Votto could basically push for whatever kind of pact he desired after winning National League MVP honors in 2010 with a dazzling 1.024 OPS.

Butler still has some work to do.  He posted a strong .318/.388/.469 batting line in 2010, but he finished with just 15 home runs and 78 RBI.  The hope is that his power numbers will take a big leap forward this year.

  1. jetersusedjersey - Jan 23, 2011 at 9:14 AM

    That crap hole the Royals play in is not conductive to hitting homers.

    • jkcalhoun - Jan 23, 2011 at 12:12 PM

      Crap hole? It’s a nice place to take in a game, actually. Spacious again since 2004, so yes, not much of a home run park. If you prefer bandboxes, visit Houston instead.

      Seriously now: crap hole?

      • spudchukar - Jan 23, 2011 at 12:56 PM

        It is one of the older stadiums now, but the renovations have certainly upgraded the facility. The home run totals are a bit skewed, due to powerless Royals. It isn’t easy to homer there, something I tend to champion, but it isn’t difficult either. It is fair. What isn’t fair is calling the place a crap hole.

      • baseballstars - Jan 24, 2011 at 1:18 AM

        I liked Kaufmann Stadium better without the seats crowding the waterfalls.

  2. Jeremiah Graves - Jan 23, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    Kauffman is one of the most beautiful ballparks in the game. Just because the team has been largely irrelevant for the better part of two decades doesn’t mean the stadium ain’t top-notch.

    Butler is still young and growing into his power. We’ve been blessed with so many waves of good young players in recent years that 27 has become “old” now instead of the age when most prospects really blossomed and reached their potential.

    Butler is going to be fine, y’all…

  3. Paul White - Jan 23, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    Yeah, either the original commenter has never been to Kauffman Stadium, or he’s got ridiculously high standards. There’s not a bad seat in the house, the renovations a couple of years ago added all sorts of cool modern features, it has some of the best food in the big leagues (and I say that having been to about half of the current ballparks), there’s ample cheap parking and tickets are among the least expensive not just in baseball but in all of the four major US big league sports. Kindly reserve “crap hole” for the McAfee Coliseums and Tropicana Fields of the baseball world.

  4. kcfanatic - Jan 23, 2011 at 11:20 PM

    One of the nicest, most reasonable ballparks in the league. Unfortunately, one of the uggliest teams of the century.

    BTW, butler also is a double play machine. Unfortunately, its on offense, not defense.

    • trevorb06 - Jan 24, 2011 at 11:34 AM

      Butler is also a doubles machine. Check your stats buddy.

      • Tyree Studio - Jan 24, 2011 at 12:40 PM

        Actually, he is both.

        Hopefully he can start to elevate the ball more this coming season to cut down on the double plays. As a KC fan, I like this signing. Billy’s RH stick will look good with all the LH bats coming up. And he is still really young.

        As for jetersusedjersey, he’s never been to a game at the K. From the username I am guessing anything not NY Yankee$ is considered crap to him…

  5. sportsdrenched - Jan 24, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    I’ve never touted The K as the best yard that I’ve been to, but it’s certainly not a crap whole. But I’m a Royals Fan so I’m a little biased.

    I’m with Paul. I’ve been to the Trop, and whatever they call that place in Oakland. They are truly crap holes.

    I would have to say my favorite place was AT&T Park in SF, although it was called PacBell when I went there.

  6. martywinn - Jan 24, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    It seems to me that you are better off keeping your money for as long as you can so that you can earn interest on it or that it can get inflated in the mean time. Money is worth more now than in the future. You are better off paying $1MM, $1MM, $28MM than $10MM, $10MM, $10MM. If KC can’t trust themselves to hold on to the money they will save in the meantime I will be happy to help out. This all assumes that the total amount of money does not change in the deals.

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