Yankees Free Agent Target: Billy Butler
By Scott Alfano
There are a ton of available free agents this off-season. Unfortunately, the Yankees have a lot of long and expensive contracts that prevent them from jumping into a lot of potential players that could help the team. One player that would be a great addition to the team, but has nowhere to go is Billy Butler.
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Butler is coming off the Royals first World Series appearance since 1985. He’s been with the team his entire career, and has already admitted he wants to stay. The Royals have declined his option for 2015 that was set to pay him $12.5 million dollars. They are open to the idea of bringing him back to the team, but primarily at the DH role. Butler wants to play first every day and has better stats when playing first. He is going to have to decide whether he would rather DH for the Royals or be a first baseman for a team that needs him in the field.
Butler does not fit on the Yankees for two reasons. First, the Yankees are paying Mark Teixeira $22.5 million dollars to play first next season and again in 2016. Injured or not, you cannot be paying full price for two first basemen. Only a team with no common sense would do that, right?
Reason number two – the Yankees are paying Alex Rodriguez $22 million dollars this year to back up Mark Teixeira at first base. Remember what I said about teams not paying for two first basemen? The Yankees are going to pay the Teixeira and Rodriguez duo nearly as much as both the Astros and Marlins paid their entire teams in the 2014 season. In case you have not heard yet, the Yankees are looking for A-Rod to take over first base and DH duties this season. Between Rodriguez and Teixeira, both first base and DH are both full this year.
Having Billy Butler as your team’s DH is a nice luxury. The Yankees have about 6 guys that will keep the DH more than full every day, so no room there.
Butler is an unassuming player. Aside from a breakout 2012 season that saw him hit .313/29/107, he keeps his head down and doesn’t see much time on SportCenter. I know Yankee fans want big names, but they could do much worse than a career .295 hitter that is only 28 and will only cost about $10 million per year. Butler won’t be in pinstripes in 2015, but a team will have a very nice value at first or DH on their team.