The Billy Butler Option


Is Billy Butler a fit anywhere on the Boston Red Sox?

The rumor around the camp fire is that the Kansas City Royals, his present employer, are willing to listen to offers. Butler is on the books for 8M for 2014 with a possible 12.5M in 2015 pending – if his team chooses to pick it up.

Sep 27, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Kansas City Royals designated hitter Billy Butler (16) hits a single against the Chicago White Sox during the third inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Butler is 27 years old and can best be described as having tight end size. Butler’s average hovers around .300 (.298 career) and is noted for some prodigious home runs. In 2013 Butler slipped from a productive 2012 of .313/29/107 to .289/15/82. The downside is Butler is usually well up on the leader board for GIDP. His foot speed is negligible and the development of Eric Hosmer has confined him to almost exclusively the DH role.

So where would he fit in Boston? The Red Sox do currently have a DH with a fairly productive track record, so that would be a long shot. If the Sox are unable to sign Mike Napoli they could always get Butler to pick up that 1B mitt again and give it a whirl. The downside is a peek at the defensive metrics show numerous minus signs. A risky venture. However, he did play 1B as his primary position in both 2009 and 2010 prior to the arrival of Hosmer.

With David Ortiz on the books for one more season and Mike Napoli a maybe, Butler may be an interesting option.