The Nationals have acquired catcher Dan Butler from the Red Sox in exchange for lefty Daniel Rosenbaum, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports on Twitter. Butler had been designated for assignment a week ago.
Though Washington seemed to be set at the big league level, with three catchers on the 40-man and another (Steven Lerud) coming to camp, the 28-year-old Butler apparently held enough appeal to add. He only reached the big leagues briefly for the first time last year, but owns a .248/.329/.416 slash with 22 home runs over 739 career trips to bat at Triple-A.
Though his numbers dipped at the highest level of the minors last year, Butler showed in 2013 that he can reach base and hit for power against quality pitching. Whether that can carry to the big leagues remains to be seen, of course.
As the Red Sox give up on one of their organization’s development success stories in Butler, so too the Nats finally part with Rosenbaum. The 27-year-old rose from a 22nd-round pick to the highest levels of the minors and even earned a Rule 5 selection before the 2013 season.
A prototypical soft-tossing, crafty lefty, Rosenbaum has not carried his domination of the lower minors into the upper ranks. Across 178 1/3 Triple-A frames, he owns a 3.94 ERA with 5.6 K/9 against 3.6 BB/9. Rosenbaum will need to finish rehabbing back from Tommy John surgery last spring before he can take the hill for the first time in the Sox organization.
That the Nationals parted with an upper-level arm, rather than the usual cash settlement, could indicate that there was slightly more at work here than the average DFA deal. It could be that Washington faced competition in pursuing Butler and/or that the organization felt it had enough depth and was ready to move on from Rosenbaum, who would become a minor league free agent after the end of the season.