MLB Trade Rumors: Billy Butler Reportedly On Pirates' Radar; What About Hunter Pence?

KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 16: Billy Butler #16 of the Kansas City Royals hits a two-run home run against the Seattle Mariners in the third inning at Kauffman Stadium on July 16, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Jayson Stark connects the Pirates to two new names, Hunter Pence and Billy Butler:

So if the Phillies have a rough week, they'll almost certainly listen on Pence in the days before the deadline. But they'd need a major haul in return to pull the trigger. One club that could make a run at Pence: the Pirates ...

If there's a hitter who might have even a remote shot of getting traded, the Pirates have asked about him. One surprising name they took a run at: Kansas City's favorite All-Star folk hero, Billy Butler. But the Pirates are still in a buy-low frame of mind. And the Royals have told a few clubs that inquired that they'd have to be blown away to deal their All-Star.

I like Butler as a hitter, but I'm not sure he makes much sense for the Bucs. He really can't play defense at all, at any position, and the Pirates already have a perfectly reasonable first-base platoon in Garrett Jones and Casey McGehee. I'm not sure what Butler's role on the Pirates would be, and in the end, I'd much prefer they get an outfielder to help keep Drew Sutton out of the outfield and ensure that McGehee gets most of his at-bats against lefties. Pence would be a better fit, but it makes sense that the Phillies would want a lot for him.

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