Report: Athletics in Serious Talks to Sign Billy Butler

Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane rarely hits the free agent market hard. But if reports are true, it appears that he might very well have landed Kansas City Royals designated hitter Billy Butler.

Fox Sports insider Ken Rosenthal confirmed that the two sides were in serious talks on a contract.

Cover the Bases, who Rosenthal cited in his report, has now indicated that Butler did indeed agree to terms on a three-year, $30 million contract with the A’s. 

Butler, 28, hit .271 with nine homers and 66 RBIs for the American League champions last season. He’s a career .295 hitter and put up a .313 average with 29 homers and 107 RBIs in an All-Star 2012 campaign.

The righty figures to split time with John Jaso or another left-handed option should this signing be confirmed. He hit .255 against righties last season compared to .321 against left-handed pitchers.

This signing wouldn’t signify an end to the A’s rare venture into the free agent market. They are said to be interested in Asdrubal Cabrera and Stephen Drew as well as some starting pitching depth. The team also scouted Cuban sensation Yasmany Tomas, though that’s a bit of a stretch considering a likely $100 million price tag.

People will criticize the reported $10 million per season price tag and bring up the Yoenis Cespedes trade from July. But this fits the A’s MO. Butler’s career .295 average is 32 points higher than Cespedes and he boasts a career .359 on-base percentage. In terms of what he brings to the table at the plate, Butler would be a great addition.

Photo: Fox Sports