MLB Winter Meetings: Blue Jays Inquire About Royals Billy Butler?

Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Anthopoulos is well known for his penchant for due diligence. He’s often linked in rumours based on the fact that he literally checks in on every possible free agent and trade possibility that he believes can make his team better, no matter how unlikely that signing or deal is. So when murmurs arise about AA speaking to a team about player x, it can generally be taken with a grain of salt.

All of that being said, I’m still going to pass along all of the rumours that I hear coming from legitimate reporters, so without further adieu:

Butler, the Royals right-handed hitting DH/1B, posted a lin of .289/.374/.412 in 2013 while hitting 15 HRs (and 27 doubles). If the Blue Jays are indeed inquiring about Butler, it would seem likely his role would be as a platoon partner for current DH/1B Adam Lind.

Against LHP Butler posted a 112 wRC+ in 2013, and has a 143 wRC+ vs LHP  for his career (as opposed to a respectable 118 for 2013 and 112 for his career vs RHP). Lind meanwhile managed a wRC+ of 151 vs RHP in 2013 while posting an abysmal 53 wRC+ against lefties. Butler would allow the Jays to effectively hide Lind against the LHP that absolutely destroy him, but would also allow them another option off the bench against RHP as he has been more than adequate against pitchers of the same handiness in his career.

Butler would be an ideal platoon partner for Lind, but would also be an upgrade over Lind straight up. Without a pronounced platoon split, Butler could be the everyday DH, and alleviate the need for a bench player without defensive flexibility. That additional bench spot could be used on another utility infielder, or a defensive specialist like Anthony Gose, giving Gibby more options late in games.

While this is likely all just conjecture at this point, Butler would add another level to an already strong Blue Jays offense. They clearly need to upgrade the rotation, adding Butler however would take off some of the pressure to add offense at the second base position. A healthy Jose Reyes, Jose Bautista, and Brett Lawrie with a properly platooned Lind (or just Butler) would more than make up for any offensive shortcomings of Ryan “0 bat” Goins.

Update:

Blair followed up with this tweet:

If this is the case I would be really interested in seeing what the Jays would be giving up. Unless it would just be a straight up salary dump by the Royals in an attempt to resign Ervin Santana? I just don’t really get it from a KC perspective…but I suppose it is Dayton Moore.

Thoughts?

Topics: Toronto Blue Jays

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