The Seattle Mariners desperately need a boost on the offensive side of things. The Kansas City Royals would like to shake things up to breathe a little life into their struggling offense as well. Could the two be partners for a trade?
Designated hitter Billy Butler is mired in an extended slump this year for Kansas City. For everything he has done to help the Royals over the years, the team has given some indications that they would like to move him and his salary to make room for somebody else.
Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune writes the following:
“The Mariners have long coveted Butler, who is currently struggling through the worst season of his career. The question is whether he’s in an extended slump or simply in the declining phase of his career.
Scouts say they don’t detect diminished bat speed. If so, that strengthens Butler’s value as a trade-acquisition target.
Either way, he should be available; the Royals signaled a willingness to trade him last winter and would likely have done so had they succeeded in signing free-agent outfielder Carlos Beltran.”
Butler is batting .251/.302/.308 through 59 games. His nickname, “Country Breakfast”, is embarrassed to have him right now with that piddly slugging percentage and only a single home run.
If Butler is in genuine decline, the Mariners should proceed carefully before taking on the money left on his deal. But if he just needs a fresh start to get right, then there might be a fit here for all involved parties.