Kansas City Royals Free Agency Primer

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Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Designated Hitter

For the first time in years, it is not a given that Billy Butler will be the Royals designated hitter next year. The Royals declined his option, making the erstwhile designated hitter/part time first baseman a free agent. However, that does not mean that he is not returning, as both the Royals and Butler have interest in a return.

However, the price needs to be right. Given Butler’s mere nine home runs and OPS+ of only 95, it certainly made sense for the Royals to decline his $12.5 Million option. Now, they just need to figure out what to do with the designated hitter role.

Should Billy Butler not resign, the Royals may look to use the position as more of a revolving door, which Ned Yost has indicated he would prefer to do. This plan would allow the Royals to keep Salvador Perez‘s bat in the lineup while giving him a partial day off. Likewise, when Perez is behind the plate (so, the other 140+ games), Yost could use the position to play matchups, getting in an extra player that he feels could do damage against the opposing starter instead of being locked in to one player.

Unless the Kansas City Royals bring Butler back, they likely will not spend money on a designated hitter. However, aside from starting pitching, there is another spot that could use a major acquisition.