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Royals Will Listen to Offers for Billy Butler

The Royals biggest problem in 2013? Scoring runs. Best way to improve that? Trade one of your best hitters!

Jamie Squire

If you loved watching Billy Butler hit into the 6-4-3 double play in 2013, you may be in for some bad news. ESPN's Buster Olney is reporting the Royals will listen to offers for the Royals rotund designated hitter.

Royals ready to talk about Billy Butler deal for teams that would take on DH owed $8 million in ’14, $12m in 2015.

The 27-year old Butler hit .289/.374/.412 in 2013 with 15 HR 82 RBI. It was his worst OPS since 2008. He also led the league in double plays for the second time in his career. Still, he's generally been a 2-3 WAR player, despite his defensive limitations and his 79 walks were 27 more than anyone else on the team.

As Jeff Zimmerman has pointed out, perhaps the Royals could replace much of that offense with a George Kottaras/lefty-masher platoon, while using the freed up money to pursue a second base or right field bat, in addition to bringing back useful assets for the future. At first blush, it would make sense that only American League clubs would have interest in Billy, although its not crazy to think an offense-starved team in the National League would try him at first base. The Mariners and Orioles seem to be the most likely candidates that need a designated hitter.