Butler is supposed to be the Royals power hitter. He gets paid to hit. His glove is way below average, so he is destined to be a DH in the American League...maybe a pinch first baseman.
In 2013, Butler was nearly an automatic double play with a runner on first base. His home run total was roughly half of what it was in 2012, and many of his hits were either with two outs, late in games that were already decided, or with nobody on base. His ground ball rate was way up from 2012. That said, he still batted .289 for the season.....which isnt bad if you're the 3rd or 4th best hitter on the team. In Billy's case, he's the guy who is penciled in as the big hitter for the Royals.
The Royals need a second baseman. They need a utility infielder. They could use the money he represents to go after these things. They could also use him playing the way he did before...when he hit 45-50 doubles a year and his BA was on the plus side of .300.
The Royals have a team option for next year at $12.5 million.
This is probably the Royals' go-for-it year.
They'll lose Shields after the season and he's clearly their best starter. They just added Infante to shore up 2B. This is a team with an outside shot at the playoffs. Hard to see them having the same chance next season so that'd be the time to move Butler.
On one hand, Butler can produce hits and RBI's with the best of them. On the other...he can wipe out an inning with a double play ball....he led the league in GIDP last season. Having added Aoki and Infante to the top of the lineup will only be a success if Butler isnt first pitch swinging into a ground ball to third.
With the additions, the Royals can move Gordon's spot in the batting order. I've seen some leaving Butler at the 4, with Hosmer at 3 and Gordon at 5, but I would be inclined to move Gordon to the 3, Hosmer to the 4, and if we have to keep him...Butler at 5. I can also see trading Butler for legit prospects and putting Maxwell at the 5. That would give us some payroll relief for resigning Shields, and developing a good player for use in a couple of years
Butler should be move this year before the start of spring He will clog the bases and can't even be sacrificed over, the team is projected to be a small ball type offense and he would just interrupt that with His 29dp