The trade rumors keep on swirling around in Seattle. It appears they are just interest in all the tradable hitters in the major leagues, as they are trying to sharpen up their offense. Mariners might be desperate, as Jerry Crasnick of ESPN tweets that the Seattle Mariners are “casting a wide net in search of a bat.” Crasnick states that the Mariners have even talked to the Kansas City Royals about first baseman Billy Butler. Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune tweeted out that these talks are not new. The Mariners have been in deep searches for a right-handed bat to balance a left-handed hitting heavy lineup.
Billy Butler, 28, has been thought of as one of the most reliable hitters in all of baseball over the past five years, but his production numbers have dropped significantly over this season. Spanning from 2009 to 2012, Butler hit .309/.371/.483, as he never had a wOBA (Weighted On-Base Average) below .350, while averaging a staggering 131 OPS+. Last season, however, he saw his wOBA and OPS+ decline to .345 (wOBA) and 116 (OPS+).
This season, Butler is hitting .273/.325/.355 with a .300 wOBA, an 87 OPS+, a curiously low 3 home runs and only 36 runs batted in. He also has career lows in hitting with a 17.7% strikeout rate, a -0.8 WAR and a 87 wRC+. Butler is making $8 million this season and has a $12.5 million team option with a $1 million buyout for next season. Due to his struggles this year, it is very likely he is just viewed as a half-season rental, unless he has a terrific second half turnaround.