Billy Butler released by the Oakland Athletics

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UPDATE – 9-15-16: Butler has signed a major league deal with the New York Yankees to finish out the 2016 season. Whereas the Bronx is a logical fit for Billy's batting skillset, I had originally not included them in the "Where does he land?" part of this article due to the youth movement tendancies the Yankess have shown since mid-season. This opportunity should give him a chance to show something over the next couple weeks (and potentially the posteseason) as he attempts to put himself in a positon to find a team for next year.

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Not even two full seasons into the 3 year/30 million dollar deal he signed before the 2015 season, Billy Butler’s time as an Oakland Athletic is officially over. #CountryBreakfast leaves behind a disappointing legacy in 236 games donning the green and gold: .258/.325/.394, .719 OPS, 19 HR, 96 RBI and 39 GIDP.

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Yes, more than twice as many GIDP as HR.

Billy was (on the whole) a fan favorite in Kansas City. Even with the recent reports coming from former teammates alluding to his me-first attitude, on the field he was the anchor (joke somewhat intended) of some really bad baseball teams from 2007 – 2012.

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From 2009 – 2012, he averaged an .854 OPS, 43 doubles and 93 RBI per season. I don’t have time to pull all the numbers now, but I would imagine the list of Royals players in history not named George Brett that had stretches of similar success is pretty small. Consider that your homework assignment.

He lost his power stroke, but still was an integral part of the offense for a 2013 team that finally gave Kansas City a glimpse of real hope. He further diminished individually in 2014, but will always be remembered as part of that magical team. He was legitimately shaken at the post season rally when the writing was clearly on the wall.

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Yes, we can choose to remember all the slow rollers that still beat him by a few steps. There were many double plays (178 to be exact). There is the infamous bathroom picture …

But this is a fan blog. And speaking purely as a fan, it was hard to see Billy go and it is hard to see him fall on bad times now.

What is the future for Billy Butler? First off, there is a less than .0001% chance he will return to the Royals. His skill set (especially as diminished as it is at this point) does not match up with what #GMDM and Ned Yost like.

There will be no multiyear deal elsewhere for him either. Oakland will more than likely be his last big paycheck. However, with his track record of success, he will get another shot of some sort somewhere. He will still only be entering his age 31 season in 2017.

Expect him to get an incentive-laden, one *MAYBE* two year deal with some AL team that could use a relatively inexpensive part time DH and right hand bat off the bench.

Toronto could make sense. Boston could make sense. Even without the DH, Milwaukee might make some sense. Dare I say even the Chicago White Sox or Detroit Tigers could make sense.

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Regardless of where he lands, best of luck to Billy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author: Zach Hodson

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