A’s sign Billy Butler away from Kansas City

Known for their frugal habits, the A’s are dabbling in the realm of actually spending money to acquire players. Or so it seems.

Oakland announced the signing Wednesday of former Kansas City Royals designated hitter Billy Butler to a three-year deal believed to be worth $10 million per season.

Butler has been a major cog in the Royals organization and was as a key contributor to their playoff run last season.

Butler spent the first eight seasons of his career with Kansas City, compiling a .295 batting average with 127 home runs and 628 RBI in 1,166 games.

He ranks third on the Royals career list in batting, sixth in doubles (276), RBI and walks (427), seventh in at-bats (4,317), hits (1273), home runs and extra base hits (407) and eighth in games played.

His 2014 contract year wasn’t his best, including a career-worst .271 batting average, and it seems as though Kansas City wasn’t ready to commit to a player with drooping stats. 2012 season was Butler’s best, being selected as an All Star and winning a Silver Slugger award.

With third baseman Josh Donaldson and first baseman Brandon Moss approaching their arbitration years, Oakland didn’t shy away from bringing in more talent.

That’s a departure from the previous 10-or-so seasons with the spending philosophy made famous by the book and movie “Moneyball.”

Butler’s signing is also an indication the A’s offseason may consider bringing back pitcher Jon Lester and making a full departure from the frugality that has accompanied their lack of World Series appearances for so many years.


Follow @SFBay and @LeskiwSFBay on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of the Oakland Athletics.