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MLB roundup: Royals, Jays talk Billy Butler; Rockies push for Boone Logan

Thursday was the final day of the 2013 Winter Meetings, with a number of moves still pending and rumors still flying even as everyone left the Swan Dolphin Hotel in Orlando.

Tim Umphrey

A name bandied about often in rumors during baseball's hot stove season is Billy Butler of the Royals, and Thursday was no different. The Blue Jays reportedly had discussions with Kansas City about the first baseman, per Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail in Toronto.

It is unclear exactly the return seen by the Royals in such a deal, but as Blair noted, it "hasn't moved beyond discussion stage."

Butler, who turns 28 in April, hit .289/.374/.412 with 27 doubles and 15 home runs for the Royals in 2013. He has been one of baseball's most durable players, missing only 11 games in the last five seasons, and during that span has hit .302/.372/.469, averaging 20 home runs and 40 doubles per season.

Butler has one year and $8 million remaining on his contract, plus a $12.5 million option for 2015 or a $1 million buyout.

Colorado closing in on Logan

The Rockies' search for a veteran left-handed reliever appears to be nearing an end, as the club is "making [a] final push" for Boone Logan, per Troy Renck of the Denver Post. The deal is expected to be in the $15 million range over three years, says Renck.

Logan, 29, pitched the last four seasons for the Yankees, including a 3.23 ERA in 61 games in 2013, with 50 strikeouts and 13 walks in 39 innings. The southpaw held left-handed batters to hitting .221/.274/.377 against him, with 34 strikeouts and six walks.

The Rockies were also rumored to be in on left-handed reliever J.P. Howell, and while Renck notes negotiations can shift, Colorado is "moving toward finish line with Logan."

The market for left-handed relievers appears to be moving, with the Nationals acquiring Jerry Blevins from the Athletics on Wednesday and the Braves rumored to be re-signing Eric O'Flaherty. Should Logan sign in Colorado, that might pave the way for Howell to return to Los Angeles, his 2013 home. Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said over the weekend he has kept in contact with Howell roughly once per week since the season ended.

Boston designates Castellanos

The Red Sox finalized their two-year, $32 million agreement with first baseman Mike Napoli on Thursday, and to make room for him on the 40-man roster, the club designated outfielder Alex Castellanos for assignment.

Castellanos, 27, was acquired by the Red Sox on Oct. 23 from the Dodgers for minor league outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker. Castellanos was 3-for-18 in his brief time in the majors with Los Angeles in 2013, but hit .257/.347/.468 with 19 home runs in 105 games with Triple-A Albuquerque. The versatile Castellanos has played minor league games at second base, third base and all three outfield positions in the last two seasons.

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