Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/25/12
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The price must be right Speculation and rumor concerning Kansas City 1B/DH Billy Butler began earlier this week, but nothing has advanced the story from the Seattle Mariners. As a true M’s fan, I promised myself I would not write anything negative about the Mariners once Chone Figgins was finally gone. Either the end of his contract or the releasing of the 3B/LF/2B would be all the Thanksgiving I could ever want. Thank you Jack Zduriencik. OK, the grace period is over. Let’s get to work on this deal Mariners. The Plus side Butler is coming off his best statistical season for a Royals team that had as good of a shot at the postseason as the M’s (not much). Butler is a career .300 hitter, who has always been known more for his doubles than home runs, put an extra drive into those doubles and finished with 29 home runs. 3 weeks into the 2013 season, Butler will turn 27. He is not a rookie, but not too old for a new contract with Seattle. His 6 seasons in the majors and sustained success at the plate would be a fantastic addition to a young Mariners squad. Imagine John Jaso on steroids. Wait-don’t do that. But Butler could be the leader in the clubhouse and in the batter’s box the M’s desperately need. Here is the problem, what do the M’s give up to get him. Could Billy Butler be the M’s new 1B? (Photo: Yahoo) Possible trade bait Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times wrote an article on this very trade, but his solution drove me insane. His suggestion was to trade one of the big three (Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, or Taijuan Walker) and either C/DH Jesus Montero or SS Nick Franklin. This two-for-one deal would not only be trading away too much value, but would hurt the future of the franchise in the way the Adam Jones for Erik Bedard deal pushed the team back a few years. This trade needs to come from a position of strength in exchange for a position of weakness. Yes, one of the big three will have to be traded (money is on Paxton, who is the most Major League ready), but that second player cannot be one of our best hitting prospects. Franklin is one of the best infielders in the minors already, and his development is just beginning. Montero has only had one full season in the big leagues. The team and the fans need to see him acclimated to the 162-game grind and the new fences in left field! Butler would be the best 1B the Mariners have had since Russell Branyan, and that is not saying very much. His defense is not spectacular, but is completely adequate and makes up for it with his bat. I am tired of Justin Smoak and Mike Carp, but maybe the Royals would take a chance on one of them while Eric Hosmer continues to progress for them. My suggestion: Trade SP James Paxton, Jason Vargas, and Smoak for Butler. I know Vargas is a good pitcher, and his progress over the last three years has been great for Seattle, but we have pitching that can fill his space. He will be missed, at least until Butler hits his first home run at Safeco. What would you give up for Bulter? CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE MARINERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
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