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.
MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.
Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.
The entire camp was placed in quarantine.
“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”
Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.
The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.
“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”