Four Reasons The Oakland Athletics Should Release Billy Butler
In November of 2014, the Oakland Athletics signed Billy Butler to a three year $30 million contract. This raised eyebrows not only because it was unlike Billy Beane to go after high-profile free agents, but also because it was uncharacteristic of the A’s to pursue players as inflexible as Butler. In a club that lives and dies by the platoon, where would Butler fit in?
Critics of the signing, including myself, noted that Butler’s performance actually showed a downward trend since his All-Star 2012 season. Each of the following seasons showed lower average, OPS, and home run totals. Since he doesn’t help the team defensively, these were truly his only metrics that mattered.
And in 2015, he disappointed again.
The Athletics still owe Butler more than $23 million over the next two seasons, but it’s time for the organization to consider eating the money they owe him and move on to other players.
There are unlikely any teams that are willing to pay the full price to have Butler on their roster, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t teams that are completely unwilling to just have him on their roster.
That’s right, the Athletics can do themselves a favor by eating the $23 million they owe him by paying him to play for another team or just releasing him. And there is precedent that demonstrates that this is a sometimes necessary move for teams to make.
We’re going to take a look into past instances where teams were facing an expensive contract that ate up valuable spots on the 25-man roster, and examine how they justified absorbing the salaries of these players.
Next: First: A Cubs Pitcher