Billy Butler becomes free agent after Royals decline 2015 club option

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Billy Butler is officially a free agent for the first time in his career, as the Royals announced this afternoon that they have declined his $12.5 million club option for 2015. He’ll receive a $1 million buyout.

The decision was expected. Butler batted .271 with just nine home runs and a career-low .702 OPS over 151 games this season, so the Royals felt that his declining production didn’t justify the lofty price tag for someone who is strictly a designated hitter. However, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star notes that Royals general manager Dayton Moore is open to bringing him back at a “more manageable” salary.

Butler, 28, has spent his entire professional career with the Royals. He was a first-round pick for the club in 2004.

White Sox sign José Abreu to a three-year contract extension

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Yesterday the Chicago White Sox made a big signing of a new player, locking up catcher Yasmani Grandal for four years. Today they’ve made another big splash, re-signed current White Sox star José Abreu to a three-year, $50 million contract extension.

Abreu had already accepted the team’s qualifying offer last week so he was ensured of staying in Chicago for 2020, but now they’ll tear that up and replace it with this pact, adding two more years.

Abreu, who turns 33 before spring training, is coming off a 2019 season in which he posted a line of .284/.330/.503 with 33 home runs and 123 RBI. He has spent his entire major league career in Chicago, putting up a line of .293/.349/.513 and socking 179 homers in six seasons.