Rumors surfaced yesterday that talks were heating up between the Royals, Mariners and Orioles, with Butler as the central trade piece. The 26-year-old Butler hit .313/.373/.510 with a career-high 29 home runs in 161 games last season. Now with six big-league seasons under his belt, the righty slugger is a career .300/.362/.468 hitter.
The Royals are on a quest to add a top-tier starter to headline their starting rotation next season and have thrown several names out to try to make it happen. Kansas City has already added Ervin Santana and Jeremy Guthrie to the rotation, but still lack that big name to anchor the rotation.
The Royals have also been tied to the constant stream of trade rumors surrounding right-handed knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, whom the Mets are -- for the time being -- still trying to sign to a contract extension.