The Oakland Athletics signed right-handed batting designated hitter/first baseman Billy Butler to a three-year, $30 million deal, according to a report by Robert Murray of MLBDailyRumors.com. ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney has confirmed this report ("Billy Butler, A's, agree to 3-year deal").
The Athletics have not officially announced the deal, but Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle speculates the hold up on an official announcement could be something simple:
The fact no one with #Athletics is confirming the deal could be as simple as no medical report yet. A's careful about such things.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) November 19, 2014
And indeed, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the deal is official pending a physical:
Billy Butler's 3-year, $30 million deal w #Athletics will be official once he passes his physical.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 19, 2014
Butler turns 29 in April. The deal also reportedly comes with a $5 million signing bonus, which is part of the $30 million announced. The original tweet from Robert Murray:
Source: Billy Butler agrees to three-year, $30M deal with the #Athletics. $5 million signing bonus.— Robert Murray (@RobertMurrayMLB) November 19, 2014
Butler's signing raises significant questions on how the Athletics will fit him onto the roster in their platoon system. As we discussed Monday night when Devan F. of MLBDailyRumors made the initial report, the A's already were facing a crowded roster situation without further additions, and this move likely signals significant roster maneuvers ahead.
If you like WAR, Eno Sarris of Fangraphs was doing some back-of-the-envelope calculations with Craig Brown of royalsauthority.com on what Butler would need to do WAR-wise for the deal to be worth it.
Thanks to @enosarris, it looks like Butler will need to be worth a little more than 4 WAR to be worth 3/30. Last 3 yrs, Butler had 4.1 fWAR.— Craig Brown (@royalsauthority) November 19, 2014
Welcome aboard, Country Breakfast.