Royals likely to decline Billy Butler’s option, but will he re-sign for less?

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It’s not exactly a hot-button topic like whether or not the Giants will re-sign third baseman Pablo Sandoval, but the Royals face a similar decision on designated hitter Billy Butler.

Once upon a time Butler looked likely a long-term building block for the Royals, but now at age 28 his performance has slipped and the team seems likely to decline his $12.5 million option for 2015.

Butler is the longest-tenured Royal at eight seasons and was originally drafted by Kansas City in 2004, but he’s hit just .280 with a .396 slugging percentage and .746 OPS in 313 games since 2013 and for a player with zero defensive or baserunning value that’s simply not worth $12.5 million.

However, last night Butler made it clear that he wants to stay with the Royals no matter what happens regarding his 2015 option:

Even if they decline it, you can still talk. Nothing’s been said. I haven’t been told anything, nor should I. We were focused on the World Series. I bleed Royal blue, and I’m a proven major league player. If it’s not here, it’s somewhere else, but I’d rather it just be here. It’s just the way it is. We’re small market and business is business, but I feel like it’s a little bit more than that here.

Parting ways with Butler would give the Royals a chance to add a bigger power threat to the middle of the lineup. He’s topped 20 homers just once in the past five seasons and has a .449 career slugging percentage while frequently being among the league leaders in grounding into double plays. Of course, breaking up after a decade together can be tough and as recently as 2012 he hit .313 with 29 homers and an .882 OPS.

Tigers sign Edwin Jackson to a minor league deal

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The good news: most-traveled-player ever Edwin Jackson has a job again. The bad news: it’s not with team number 15. He’s repeating himself, going back to the Tigers, for whom he pitched in 2009. Oh well.

Jackson, 35, posted a ghastly 11.12 ERA in 28 and a third innings over eight appearances with the Blue Jays this season, five of which came as starts. If he can manage to be merely bad instead of terrible he’s likely to get several starts for Detroit in the second half as the Tigers are playing for nothing and teams playing for nothing are well-served by veteran arms.

And heck, if he starts one in the next week or so and is amazing, maybe — just maybe — Detroit can flip him to team number 15? We can dream, can’t we?