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Is A Deal For Billy Butler Still Possible?


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The article below was written before Wil Myers was traded to the Rays for Shields and Davis. It has a lot of information pro and con about Butler and the Royals fans opinions of him at the end of the story. It appears the Royals fans like his hitting skills but not the rest of his game. He is strictly a DH and is one of the slowest runners in baseball. That being said he still hit .313 with 29 HR'S, 107 RBI'S and had a .373 OBP and a career .362 OBP. Can we afford to overlook his shortcomings? I say YES. The article mentions the rumored Tillman for Butler possibility that surfaced at the Winter Meetings in Nashville. Does Nolan Reimold have trade value? When he's healthy he looks like a very good player. Can we continue to gamble on him and his durability issues? Butler for Tillman and Reimold plus a prospect? The Royals have a lot of pitching and need to dump some of it. Would they have interest in Tillman as their #5 starter? Is his value as high as it's going to get? Shields, Santana, Davis and Guthrie are likely their starting 4 and they have a number of possibilities for #5. Santana had an off year last year and Davis is not a sure thing either and could be in their pen

http://network.yardbarker.com/mlb/article_external/are_the_orioles_the_answer_to_the_royals_prayers/12360526

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If Tillman can pitch like he did last year for a full season we can probably get Butler or an even better bat next off-season. If Tillman, Matusz, Britton and some other young arms take a big step forward this year we should have no problem dealing 1 or 2 for premium positional prospects or proven young major league bats.

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Do we really want to have this thread again?

Butler is worse than his batting line alone indicates because he can't run or play defense; most of his production can be replicated by a platoon of Wigginton/Pearce or Wigginton/Valencia at a tiny fraction of the cost, and without sacrificing roster flexibility due to aforementioned defense issue; and for the privilege of spending some $15M on a small upgrade we'd have to give up (in this scenario) Tillman, Reimold, AND a prospect?

No, no, a thousand times no. Not even for Tillman alone.

Also, now that KC has a brand-spanking new rotation of Shields, Santana, Guthrie, Davis, and others, why would they want Tillman?

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No to trading Tillman imho. I'd still rather take a chance on someone like Morneau than give up Tillman for Butler. My bold prediction for this year is Tillman wins 17 games and becomes a star for the O's for a long time. Yes I have a man crush on him!

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Do we really want to have this thread again?

Butler is worse than his batting line alone indicates because he can't run or play defense; most of his production can be replicated by a platoon of Wigginton/Pearce or Wigginton/Valencia at a tiny fraction of the cost, and without sacrificing roster flexibility due to aforementioned defense issue; and for the privilege of spending some $15M on a small upgrade we'd have to give up (in this scenario) Tillman, Reimold, AND a prospect?

No, no, a thousand times no. Not even for Tillman alone.

Also, now that KC has a brand-spanking new rotation of Shields, Santana, Guthrie, Davis, and others, why would they want Tillman?

Edgar Martinez and Harold Baines would like to wish you a Merry Christmas.

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Edgar Martinez and Harold Baines would like to wish you a Merry Christmas.

Martinez didn't steal bases, but he wasn't abysmally slow. He has a career -20.9 BSR, which is -1.4 per 600 PA. That's below average, but not terrible. Butler has -5.4 BSR per 600 PA, which is awful.

Not to mention the obvious, which is that as a pure hitter, Butler can't carry Martinez's jockstrap. Martinez has a career .933 OPS. Butler's best single-season OPS is .882.

A truly great hitter who does literally nothing else is a huge asset to a team. A bit-above-average hitter who does literally nothing else can be helpful, but isn't worth that much. And it's certainly not worth $15M+Tillman+whatever else.

Baines, by the way, was a -0.5 runner per 600 PAs. So think about this: upgrading from Butler to Baines, as a baserunner, gives you almost the same offensive improvement as upgrading from Baines to Nate McLouth (5.6 BSR/600). Or this: Butler is as bad a baserunner, relative to the average MLBer, as McLouth is a good one.

Edit: Or put it this way, for those who think baserunning and defense are unimportant. Baines and Butler are actually quite similar as hitters through age 26. But Butler's got 9.9 WAR so far in his career, while Baines had 16.1 by the same point (Butler: 3540 PA; Baines: 3459). In other words, by adding value on the bases and by playing defense, Baines was about 1.6 times more valuable than Butler.

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No one outside of the OH would think Tillman is even close to enough for Billy Butler.

Not that this is all that relevant since the Shields trade, but Dave Cameron was advocating that the Royals trade Butler for Tillman. He knows a thing or two about baseball, is pretty neutral on the Orioles, and actually has been quite critical of Dayton Moore. While his argument was more about Butler's weaknesses and the Royals' needs rather than Tillman's strengths, he did reach this conclusion:

Rather than giving up a piece like Myers, who could fill a big hole on the roster for years to come, moving Butler for a pitcher like Tillman could be the Royals best way to add a young arm to the rotation without sacrificing the organization’s future.

This is the other most relevant section:

...I think the Royals should strongly consider a deal with Baltimore. On the surface, Chris Tillman might seem to be an underwhelming return for an All-Star, but if you see Butler as a +3 win player on a contract that pays him like a +2 win player, then a deal built around Butler-for-Tillman isn’t so nutty. Tillman shouldn’t be viewed as any kind of future ace, but his velocity spike and improvement last year show that he has the chance to turn into a +2 win starter in the near future, and he’s set to make the league minimum for the next two years, then has three arbitration eligible seasons before he hits free agency.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/are-the-orioles-the-answer-to-the-royals-prayers/

So while I agree this trade won't ever happen now, the main reason is the Royals' decision to trade for Shields, not because Tillman for Butler wouldn't have been an even deal. I think the OH tends to overrate Tillman, because he has plenty of question marks, but there are also a lot of people who are too high on Butler.

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The article below was written before Wil Myers was traded to the Rays for Shields and Davis. It has a lot of information pro and con about Butler and the Royals fans opinions of him at the end of the story. It appears the Royals fans like his hitting skills but not the rest of his game. He is strictly a DH and is one of the slowest runners in baseball. That being said he still hit .313 with 29 HR'S, 107 RBI'S and had a .373 OBP and a career .362 OBP. Can we afford to overlook his shortcomings? I say YES. The article mentions the rumored Tillman for Butler possibility that surfaced at the Winter Meetings in Nashville. Does Nolan Reimold have trade value? When he's healthy he looks like a very good player. Can we continue to gamble on him and his durability issues? Butler for Tillman and Reimold plus a prospect? The Royals have a lot of pitching and need to dump some of it. Would they have interest in Tillman as their #5 starter? Is his value as high as it's going to get? Shields, Santana, Davis and Guthrie are likely their starting 4 and they have a number of possibilities for #5. Santana had an off year last year and Davis is not a sure thing either and could be in their pen

http://network.yardbarker.com/mlb/article_external/are_the_orioles_the_answer_to_the_royals_prayers/12360526

You just contradict the point with this statement. The Royals are loaded with starters, why would they want more pitching without unloading some of what they have. Though the problem is that Santana, Chen, and Hochevar are relatively unattractive pieces.

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Martinez didn't steal bases, but he wasn't abysmally slow. He has a career -20.9 BSR, which is -1.4 per 600 PA. That's below average, but not terrible. Butler has -5.4 BSR per 600 PA, which is awful.

Not to mention the obvious, which is that as a pure hitter, Butler can't carry Martinez's jockstrap. Martinez has a career .933 OPS. Butler's best single-season OPS is .882.

A truly great hitter who does literally nothing else is a huge asset to a team. A bit-above-average hitter who does literally nothing else can be helpful, but isn't worth that much. And it's certainly not worth $15M+Tillman+whatever else.

Baines, by the way, was a -0.5 runner per 600 PAs. So think about this: upgrading from Butler to Baines, as a baserunner, gives you almost the same offensive improvement as upgrading from Baines to Nate McLouth (5.6 BSR/600). Or this: Butler is as bad a baserunner, relative to the average MLBer, as McLouth is a good one.

Edit: Or put it this way, for those who think baserunning and defense are unimportant. Baines and Butler are actually quite similar as hitters through age 26. But Butler's got 9.9 WAR so far in his career, while Baines had 16.1 by the same point (Butler: 3540 PA; Baines: 3459). In other words, by adding value on the bases and by playing defense, Baines was about 1.6 times more valuable than Butler.

I'm glad you took the time to share those meaningless stats with me about baserunning. I can sleep better now knowing that. Thank you.

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I could have been clearer with that statement. Several websites have indicated the Royals were not done and they had several possible #5 starters they would like to unload they are not satisfied with. It's similar to the Orioles situation. We can find 5 starters easy enough but are we really comfortable starting the season with them? Several on here have said we should sign Saunders plus trade for Porcello. That leaves Hammel, Chen and Gonzalez for the other three spots. What are we going to do with Arrieta, Britton, Wada and Tillman? They are too good to be starting in Norfolk. Matusz looked to have found a role as a set-up man late in the season and Steve Johnson could be a spot starter, long man or set up man in the pen. I don't see Arrieta, Britton, Wada or Tillman in the pen and many expect Gausman and possibly Bundy to be starting before the 2013 season is over. We need 2 more hitters and have plenty of pitching to trade along with Hoes, Avery, Flaherty and Reimold if necessary. I think the Royals could still be a trade partner with Butler and the Twins with Josh Willingham also possible. Maybe DD will deal for Giancarlo Stanton?

We struggle too much against lefthanders and need to improve our hitting from the right side. Giancarlo Stanton is a longshot the Orioles should be considering if the Marlins want to satisfy him. He is upset with the Marlins trade with Toronto. Truly a special young player with superstar written all over him. We have a lot of prospects we could offer the Marlins. His numbers last season were A+ and he is only 23 years old. 37 HR'S, 86 RBI'S, .290 BA, .361 OBP. and a $480,000 salary. DD should put a package together the Marlins cannot refuse. Would you include Bundy in a deal for Stanton?

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