Dec 3, 2012, 1:22 PM EST
Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star says both the Mariners and Orioles are showing strong interest in Royals designated hitter Billy Butler.
Dutton sees the Mariners as the more likely trade partner, what with their stockpile of arms that includes Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton.
Most believe that the Royals will trade for a starter, probably using either Butler or top prospect Wil Myers. It’s doubtful that they’ll part with both.
If the Mariners acquired Butler, it’d seem to alter the plan that currently calls for Jesus Montero to get most of his time at DH next year. Montero could instead split time between catcher and first base and eventually become the regular first baseman if Justin Smoak fails to take a step forward.
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