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MLB Trade Rumors: Mariners reportedly interested in Billy Butler

Seattle "covets" the slugging first baseman/designated hitter, according to a report.

Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

The Seattle Mariners are reportedly interested in Kansas City Royals first baseman/designated hitter Billy Butler, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Rosenthal suggests that the Mariners might be willing to part with some high-end pitching prospects in order to secure the 26-year-old slugger for the three years remaining the four-year, $30 million deal he signed in 2011. He adds that Seattle "covets" Butler, according to a rival executive. Whether or not a deal gets done will likely come down to Royals general manager Dayton Moore's willingness to trade top-tier prospects or proven big leaguers to secure starting pitching. It also hinges on whether Moore believes his offense could handle the loss of a big bat like Butler -- especially after first baseman Eric Hosmer's sophomore slump (.232/14/60).

Butler is coming off the best season of his career. He hit .313, with 29 home runs and 107 RBI in 161 games for the Royals, and was named to his first American League All-Star team.