However, both Greinke and Soria are signed to long term contracts, so is it time for the Royals to look into giving Butler an extension? Butler is under team control for the next four years, but now seems like a good time for the Royals and their young slugger to look into a contract extension.
However, it remains to be seen if both sides will be able to get an extension done. A blurb in MLBTR yesterday seemed to suggest that extension talks for Billy Butler had not started yet:
"Newly minted Royals Player of the Year Billy Butler has not held long-term extension talks with the team, MLBTR learned on a conference call today. Butler will not be arbitration-eligible until after the 2010 season."
Even though there have been no talks between the two sides, can the Royals and Butler come to terms on a contract extension this winter? Maybe. Hopefully. Let's take a look at the respective goals for each side:The Royals
1. Buyout arbitration years
2. Buyout Butler's first year of free agency
3. Butler's extension would save the team money over time
The Billy Butler Camp
1. Guaranteed money
2. More money in 2010
So how about this deal for Butler and the Royals?
(5 years/$30 million) with a $15 million dollar option for 2014
Here is the contractual breakdown:
2010: $1 million
2011: $4 million
2012: $6 million
2013: $8 million
2014: $11 million
2015: $15 million (vesting option)
Why it works for the Royals:
1. Buyout all of Butler's arbitration years
2. Buyout one year of free agency (at least)
3. Very reasonable price
Why it works for Butler:
1. Long term security
2. Can become a free agent at 28 (or 29)
The only incentive for the Royals to get something done now is if they can lock up Butler to a very team friendly long term deal. With this contract, I think that goal is accomplished. There is a good amount of risk in signing a young player, who is a liability in the field and has only put together one good season at the plate; but I think this is a great opportunity for the Royals to lock up a young, middle of the order hitter at a great price. Then again, the Royals might want to hold off on a contract extension until the middle of the season just to make sure that Butler's 2009 season was no fluke.
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