Where Does Billy Butler Fit Into the Blue Jays Trade Rumors?

Sep 13, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals designated hitter Billy Butler (16) breaks his bat in the second inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays have been exceedingly quite on the hot stove front here at the Winter Meetings, so when we see something like the following rumor floated, it perks our ears up a little bit.

Wow, that one comes right out of left field doesn’t it?

Now, don’t get me wrong, Billy Butler is a fantastic player, albeit one coming off of a down year, as his numbers show below. Butler is also relatively affordable at $8 million in 2014 and a team option for $12.5 million in 2015.

Year G AB R H 2B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2007 92 329 38 96 23 8 52 27 55 .292 .347 .447 .794 108
2008 124 443 44 122 22 11 55 33 57 .275 .324 .400 .724 93
2009 159 608 78 183 51 21 93 58 103 .301 .362 .492 .853 125
2010 158 595 77 189 45 15 78 69 78 .318 .388 .469 .857 134
2011 159 597 74 174 44 19 95 66 95 .291 .361 .461 .822 125
2012 161 614 72 192 32 29 107 54 111 .313 .373 .510 .882 138
2013 162 582 62 168 27 15 82 79 102 .289 .374 .412 .787 116
7 Yrs 1015 3768 445 1124 244 118 562 386 601 .298 .364 .459 .823 122
162 Game Avg. 162 601 71 179 39 19 90 62 96 .298 .364 .459 .823 122
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/12/2013.

My question though is where Billy Butler fits into the grand Blue Jays plan that Alex Anthopoulos is currently hatching? Seems to me that we have an over abundance of First Base/ DH-type players already in the fold with Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion. Adding Butler would just further add to that supply.

Unless one of them is involved in a separate deal.

Earlier in the week, Anthopoulos mentioned that the team was likely to carry their entire roster of position players into the beginning of the season, but he also mentioned that the team was working on a trade with a three-team component that looked promising. Encarnacion, with his steal of a deal, would be a tremendously tradable player in a market that lacks a power component. By adding Butler, in the aforementioned three-team deal or in a separate deal, would allow for the Blue Jays to move Encarnacion without completely losing the power from their own line-up. Encarnacion could certainly then be flipped to help land a pitcher of consequence for the Blue Jays.

Granted, that’s a lot of speculation on my part, based on a 180-character tweet citing the infamous “sources”, but it seems feasible.

Let the intrigue begin!

Topics: Billy Butler, Toronto Blue Jays

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  • brad

    conversely, if Lind is part of the Butler deal you would have a lineup of Reyes, Lawrie, Bautista, Encarnacion, Butler, Rasmus, Melkey, navarro, Goins/izturis ….. and could just try to commit to winning 8-7 every day lol.

    • Pello

      Still too many RH bats up top though IMO, we need to put Melky or Rasmus back to 2nd.

      • brad

        Or switch bulter/rasmus in the 5 hole. Even still I would only do it again st rh starters. The splits aren’t very drastic.

  • Bob Loblaw

    If Lind is used as a trade piece, I think I’d rather sign Kendrys Morales as his replacement, because his market isn’t shaping up so well and he may be cheaper. Unless, as brad suggests, Lind gets used in the same deal that moves Butler over to us.

  • Hooey_Plain

    I hope this means Lind is going to the Pirates in deal for a pitcher. Maybe Charlie Morton, now that he’s locked up,for three years?

    • John

      Lind’s value is par for the course, not going to get anything of value when teams will point to the fact he can’t hit LH pitching, he was cold for months on end last season in spite of decent overall numbers (hot streaks) and 4 years of HTF is this guy still in the bigs

  • John

    Listen kids, assuming this has any legs (and it may) the Jays don’t get Butler AND prospects (the mention of prospects implies that it’s more than “player to be named”) for Lind and scraps; that’s an EE headliner. Do the Royals want Drabek or Happ and Lind for Butler… probably not Sorry but there are few available arms I’m trading EE for not when that lineup has trouble getting on base, you can’t give up the HR

  • Phat AlberG

    Jays need to build their team like those championship teams in early 90′s, I feel they need more contact hitters and speed at the top of the lineup and less power bats. You don’t need 3 guys in the middle of order just swinging for the fences, they should really move Bautista.