Royals first baseman Billy Butler agreed to a four-year, $30 million contract extension with the Royals on Saturday morning. Now Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star has the financial breakdown of the deal.
Butler will make $3 million this year, $8 million in 2012, 2013 and 2014, then possibly $12.5 million on a club option for 2015. He was also given a $2 million signing bonus and will take a $1 million buyout if that 2015 option is not picked up.
It’s a well-crafted deal. Instead of offering Butler a contract that gets richer and richer after every passing arbitration season, the Royals are going to essentially pay him a flat rate from 2012-2014. That means a larger than normal payout next year, but it will help Kansas City stay flexible with their payroll throughout the course of the contract.
The Reds are probably wishing they had worked out a similar pact with Joey Votto, who was inked to a three-year, $38 million contract extension last week. He’ll be making $17 million in his final season under the new deal, which will probably hamstring the Cincinnati front office from adding any pieces in the winter of 2012-2013. Of course, Votto could basically push for whatever kind of pact he desired after winning National League MVP honors in 2010 with a dazzling 1.024 OPS.
Butler still has some work to do. He posted a strong .318/.388/.469 batting line in 2010, but he finished with just 15 home runs and 78 RBI. The hope is that his power numbers will take a big leap forward this year.
The Marlins were somehow able to muster up the strength not only to play Monday night’s game against the Mets, but also win it convincingly one day after losing Jose Fernandez in a tragic boating accident. The Marlins and Mets helped pay tribute to Fernandez prior to the start of the game as outlined here.
When the game started, the Marlins came out of the gate with a bang. Dee Gordon homered in his first at-bat, then the club hung a four-spot in the second inning. They tacked on two more in the third inning to chase starter Bartolo Colon and take a commanding 7-0 lead. The Mets chipped away for two runs in the fifth on an Asdrubal Cabrera two-run homer and tacked on one more in the eighth, but ultimately fell short by a 7-3 margin.
Gordon finished 4-for-5 with the homer and two RBI. Justin Bour went 3-for-3 with a single, double, triple, and a walk along with an RBI and two runs scored.
A.J. Ramos, who closed out the win, placed the ball on the pitcher’s mound for Fernandez. The Marlins huddled around the mound and said a prayer. The players huddled closer to the rubber on the mound, then left their hats behind as they retreated to the clubhouse as fans at Marlins Park chanted, “Jose, Jose, Jose.”
In a post-game interview, Gordon called his first-inning home run “the best moment of my life,” as NBC 6 Sports reports.
The Indians beat the Tigers 7-4 at Comerica Park on Monday night, clinching the AL Central for their first division title since 2007. Starter Corey Kluber lasted only four innings before exiting with right groin tightness, but the Indians were able to overcome the adversity.
Coco Crisp gave the Indians their first two runs with a two-run home run in the second inning off of starter Buck Farmer. The Tigers would promptly tie the game on a two-run homer by J.D. Martinez in the bottom half of the inning.
In the fifth, an RBI double by Jason Kipnis and a sacrifice fly by Mike Napoli put the Tribe back on top 4-2. The Tigers answered once again with a Miguel Cabrera RBI single in the bottom half to make it 4-3.
Roberto Perez homered for the Indians in the top of the top of the seventh, and Cabrera answered with another RBI single in the bottom half to keep it within one run at 5-4.
The Indians tacked on another insurance run in the eighth on three consecutive two-out singles by Crisp, Rajai Davis, and Perez. Carlos Santana then hit what should have been the final out of the eighth inning, but J.D. Martinez botched the catch, allowing the Indians’ seventh run to score.
Cody Allen shut the Tigers down in the bottom of the ninth, protecting the 7-4 lead for his 30th save of the season.
The last time the Indians won the AL Central, their starting lineup featured a 28-year-old Victor Martinez, a 25-year-old Jhonny Peralta, a 24-year-old Grady Sizemore, and a 26-year-old CC Sabathia. It’s been a long time.
The American League playoff picture still isn’t set yet, so the Indians will be intently watching the final week of the season to see who will be their playoff opponent.