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.