SEPT. 15: The Yankees have announced the signing of Butler to a Major League deal. Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi has been transferred to the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.
SEPT. 14: The Yankees have reached an agreement to sign recently released Athletics designated hitter/first baseman Billy Butler, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports (via Twitter). Heyman further specifies that Butler has signed a Major League contract with New York.
Specifics surrounding the deal aren’t known, but Butler can be had for nothing more than the pro-rated portion of the league minimum through season’s end following his release by Oakland. That means it’ll cost the Yanks about $50K to add Butler into the mix, presumably for the remainder of the 2016 campaign only.
Butler, 30, signed a three-year, $30MM contract with the A’s prior to the 2015 season – a move that paid very little in the way of dividends for Oakland. The longtime Royals DH struggled in both seasons he spent wearing green and gold, hitting a collective .258/.325/.394. While that production graded out as roughly average when factoring in the Athletics’ cavernous home park (99 OPS+), a league-average bat at the DH slot (and occasionally at first base) isn’t a positive outcome on a $10MM annual investment.
As Mike Axisa of River Avenue Blues points out (Twitter link), however, the Yankees started light-hitting backstop Austin Romine at designated hitter tonight against a left-handed pitcher. Butler could give the Yankees a solid, low-cost option against southpaws for the remainder of the season, and they’ll be facing no shortage of left-handed opponents; Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports notes that the Yanks are slated to face lefties in seven of their next 11 games (Twitter link).
That said, it should be noted that a large reason for the decline in performance from “Country Breakfast” is the fact that his numbers against lefties have plummeted in the past two seasons. Butler crushed lefties at a .314/.393/.519 clip from 2007-14 despite playing his home games at the pitcher-friendly Kauffman Stadium, but he’s managed only a woeful .226/.329/.358 line against lefties since signing in Oakland.
Few would’ve thought that the Yankees would be in this position at the non-waiver trade deadline when they parted ways with Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Carlos Beltran in order to acquire prospects, but New York currently sits just two games back from an American League Wild Card spot. However, they just lost a right-handed option earlier today with the news that Aaron Judge has been placed on the disabled list due to an oblique strain, thinning out the club’s right-handed options at the plate. Of course, if the Yankees are able to close the two-game gap that currently faces them, Butler would be ineligible to join the postseason roster, having been added to the organization after the Aug. 31 postseason eligibility deadline.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
And they cut Nick Swisher? Lol
They didn’t cut swisher. He left to spend the rest of the year with his family.
The yankees need to worry about competing for a spot in the wild card otherwise they are done
With Judge and their new catcher they have the players and the pitching to compete except for c.c. Sabathia they need to get rid of him his fastball is only 80-85 miles an hour im not saying that because he beat the tigers its if they want to go for the postseason next season
Hey, he put the periods in C.C. Sabathia’s name, so that’s worth something, right?
Wait a minute… Judge is performing and CC needs to go? Maybe we’re watching different games. judge is hitting .179 and strikes out almost 50% of the time. CC has been pretty good this year.
Agree. Yankees are getting a much better year out of C.C. than anybody expected. Judges hitting and pitches that he swings at can use some work.
I like the move. Low risk, high reward type of deal. Who knows
High reward?? Haha good luck!!
It might work out. If he’s at least decent, 50k is a steal for a decent major league player. Not saying that will happen whatsoever. But I still think there’s really no harm in it for the yanks
A couple of homers has to be worth 50k to a team trying to get in playoffs. Worth a shot, especially when player at 30 is looking for a contract and not ending career.
Billy Butler looks like your every day local water department worker
He looks like the kind of guy who would be a chef at a dive bar tbh
He kind of looks like the guy who catches raccoons living under people’s decks in Jacksonville. As he leaves he makes a snide remark to the homeowner regarding his choice to wear a Miami Dolphins hat in Jaguar territory. .
Actually, he looks like my mailman
Can’t find his way into the A’s lineup of garbage but is good enough for the Yankees. Watch him put up solid numbers now while the A’s trot out another .200 no power slugger
Doesn’t that sign at Ellis island go something like.. “give us your unwanted” as part of it?? Never, ever been to NY, so don’t know, tho several recent NYY rosters have (and still) included older players of little, to negative use.. Like 10-12 in fact. Butler is yet another case.
I’m an A’s fan. I’d take those 10 to 12 old players for a chance to make the playoffs.
Never been to NY but you talk like you know.
Rosters including older players yada, yada, yada.
This is a pick-up that looks good even if the guy helps us win one game.
They don’t commit to a full rebuild was my point. Only 1 time since any Steinbrenner has owned them and it led to the great run through the late 90’s and early 2k’s.
Trying to compete like this isn’t accomplishing much. Getting ho-hum draft picks in the 20’s, accompanied by CBA restrictions makes it difficult to rebuild while trying to remain competitive yearly with this type of roster.
You should check out some of young players coming next two years. This is a full rebuild, but recent moves jump started it and there is some solid talent coming with not a lot on the books. They will be able to purchase any of the few needed pieces to put them to #28.
This move is rather odd on the part of the Yankees. First, with the way he departed in Oakland, why would they want to expose their young players to a guy that could potentially be a bad clubhouse presence? Second, wasn’t the purpose for the roster moves at the trade deadline was so they could get the young guys the AB’s? And third, what does this guy bring to the table that Alex Rodriguez didn’t? I mean I thin A-Rod would have eventually warmed up some and be a serviceable righthanded DH. Don’t understand it.
Well, they released A-Rod to bring up the younger guys like Judge. Now that a RH power bat like Judge is hurt for the rest of the season, they need another RH power bat like Butler. However, it is puzzling they would sign a guy like Butler after the “endorsement” altercation. It’s also puzzling that they rather sign a DH veteran bat from the outside, rather than give another shot to a veteran such as Nick Swisher, who can play RF. And regarding A-Rod, I just don’t think that the Yankees wanted to pay a washed up, controversial player a bonus for his HR milestones.
Well depending on A-rods language on his contract Yanks might be paying his bonus next year!!
Reports suggest Danny Valencia was more to blame for that fight. It was consistent with Valencia’s history of being a clubhouse punk. But Butler has no history of fighting. Therefore, I wouldn’t worry too much about Butler in the Yankee clubhouse. So long as nobody gets in his way near the post game spread.
Someone goes to your boss/client and tells them you aren’t doing your job and you want to blame the victim for reacting?
Butler snitched, Valencia got mad, Butler told him to do something about it and valencia decked him. You can rightly say valencia started the physical part but when some rich asswipe costs you a lot of money and dares you do something about it he deserves to get smacked around.
Butler started it and valencia finished it.
Well Butler wasnt on roids for starters
Yes he was, he was on McDonalds gear, and who ate all the pies? Billy did.
Butler is 30, Rodriguez is 41… Butler could at least play 1B, Rodriguez nada… Butler is hitting .276, Rodriguez .200…
The Red Sox have 3 lefty starters this series and the Yankees face them 7 times the rest of the year.
Go look up Billy Butler’s road stats vs lefties (as in, away from Oakland’s horrible hitting park).
That’s why they just signed Butler. And if Hicks comes back, they can use 8 righties against a lefty starter. Not complicated, no risk, possible reward.
Also, Nick Swisher didn’t have those stats and at the time A-Rod was already eating up a DH role full-time, so there goes that comparison.
Also, almost all of Ellis Island is in NJ, so even at the core of a bad joke, it isn’t accurate.
Cashman doing his favorite dumpster diving maneuver.. The front office is incapable of learning from past success or failure.
I knew as soon as he was cut that the Yankees would be excited to add him so they could avoid using their young players, even though they are out of the playoffs because of their older players rather than their younger players.
ownership and management are older and more tired than the mid season roster these clowns kept trotting out to embarrass the fans.
One of their young players got hurt, another one has not returned from injury. If anything, this keeps Brian McCann from facing lefties.
It impacts Sanchez and likely Refsnyder/Austin not at all seeing as Butler can’t play the field, so what are you talking about?
One of Austin and Refsnyder will play everyday in the outfield until Hicks returns and one of them will probably also play first when Tex isn’t in the lineup (probably against lefties). Mccann probably DH’s against righties and Butler against lefties. It barely impacts any young players whatsoever.
Every at bat he gets doesn’t go to a younger player.
They bet the entire season on old farts and lost but instead of learning from that they continue to double down by signing everyone else’s garbage whenever they can
They still have a whole team of young players they could promote instead of signing butler.
That’s not how it works. The DH against lefties has been Austin Romine. He is not a prospect and doesn’t need everyday development.
Refsnyder/Austin, who are really the only two guys we’re talking about here, were never getting those at bats. One of them is in the outfield until Hicks is healthy and the other is playing for Headley or Tex when they have a day off.
It’s also a reallllllly big stretch to claim prior to seismic shift in the entire outlook of the franchise is comparable to an expanded roster signing for two weeks to try to help hit a slew of lefty starters coming up.
Butler has good numbers at YS and good numbers vs lefties when he’s not in Oakland. There is no long-term money committed, he’s not here next year, he’s barely impacting anyone’s at bats who matter.
Butler is a veteran bat and the Yankees are still in the postseason picture. They trust his ability to get hot for two weeks over say, whatever player you feel should be called up (btw, there are no guys in Scranton who kill lefties worthy of a call up. Frazier is a nice thought but why start his clock when he hasn’t mastered AAA yet?)
Mason Williams was called up to replace Judge, but he’s certainly not going to be used as a DH.
Frazier isn’t a nice thought. He’s a left handed hitter who isn’t ready for the majors.
Refsnyder, Mason and Austin should be playing instead of Butler and Tex.
Donovan Solano hit 320 this year in AAA What’s wrong with giving him a shot?
Jose Rosario hit over 300 in AAA this year. Why not him?
Why do we always go for the old player who is being thrown out instead of the kids?
Who cares if cashman signs good players for the farm if he never gives them a chance?
Why do they trust Butlers ability when they are so consistently wrong when they keep counting on the older players?
I don’t know if you’ve ever followed the Marlins, but Donovan Solano’s terrible. No chance he should be a DH for anyone, especially not a contender. Romine’s almost 28, and Solano’s almost 29, while Butler’s 30 too. They’re no more future pieces for the Yankees than Butler is, other than being controllable. Rosario is the only one who can make any sense, but his abysmal K:BB ratio in AA and AAA make it unlikely he’d have any success
You’re probably right that Butler won’t be all that impressive, but he’s got a better track record than anyone you mentioned, and I doubt Butler’s 35 plate appearances will stunt anyone’s development
They traded Beltran who was the person who should have been playing at DH if they wanted a vet.
If they want to rebuild they should play people in their farm system.
Defending the pick up of another failed cast off from a bad team that you hope you can find magic in is inconsistent with your dismissal of any possibility of finding any magic in a young player having an exceptional year simply because he didn’t work out for another team in a previous year.
You don’t stunt the development of a player you lose in the rule 5 draft because you couldn’t find out about them due to blocking them with players who has massive resumes proving they aren’t any good.
You do however lose that player. You also perpetuate the feeling on the farm that the big club with do everything in their power to keep you out of the major leagues instead of developing the feeling that everyone is a few good decisions or extra hard work away from achieving their dream.
The idea that you have to hit like Sanchez to start your major league career if you want a real shot is a terrible joke.
Frazier bats right-handed FYI
I think your statement about the feeling on the farm club is misguided. The Yankees traded veterans and turned to the prospects, and now they are winning. I think it definitely motivates the minor league players to see their former teammates playing and winning and trying for postseason. Your comment would make sense if you’ve been asleep since the All Star break.
Thanks for that.
I was thinking both the cleveland top OF prospects were left handed for some reason.
Of course it motivates them to see them playing.
But it doesn;t instantly erase the rest of their minor league careers.
It doesn’t escape them that injuries and mind boggling failure was required for any of them to get any shot.
Nor do they fail to understand that unless you hit like Sanchez or have everyone in front of you succumb to injury you wont get more than a handful of sporadic at bats to prove you are better than any vet they can get their hands on.
I may have slept through two weeks but you must have slept through a few years if you think the Yankees have established any credibility among their minor leaguers.
Funny thing is, a few years ago it was different minor leaguers! I think everyone knows about the Yankees free agent mistakes, but this second half has made the front office put their foot in their mouth. Saw an interview with Cashman yesterday where he admitted that the team at the beginning of the season just didn’t work. Basically admitted his mistakes, and praised the youngsters for keeping the team relevant. I think that is more unexpected than prospects being productive on the field!
Side note: just watched some 2016 videos of Frazier and his bat speed is awesome. Lots to be excited about with all the new top prospects. Time for culture change.
I’ll be back as soon as they actually play over the failed vets.
If Hicks, Ackley and Butler play in game one next year I won’t even waste my time.
I do share your excitement over the farm though. That’s what makes me so frustrated. The horses are there and they’ve been the better option for most of the year.
Butler’s on a one-year, league minimum contract. He’s not going to stop anyone from being protected this winter. He’ll most likely be long gone by November, and 30 major league at-bats weren’t going to make a decision on who the Yankees protect this winter.
I assume you’re referring to my comments about Solano. His best year came back in 2012 in Miami when he slashed .295/.342/.375. Even in his disastrous year this year, Butler has a .276/.331/.404, which is better than any season that Solano’s ever put together at the plate. I don’t think it’s inconsistent at all to assume that Butler is the safer bet to produce at the plate
If Butler gets at bats that could have been given to someone who ends up being left unprotected and chosen in the rule 5 draft it will have been a lost opportunity to see what the player could do.
If we lose players based on a lack of information it can be blamed on a failure to give those players a look.
It has nothing to do with him being on the 40 man during the off season though I can definitely see a case where he does well over the next few weeks and is resigned to be the DH next year.
Batting average and OBP were both better for Solano.
This year Solano has hit .320 and Butler just got cut for not having any positive value at all.
It’s inconsistent (at best) to say Butler is good and that Solano is terrible.
The fact that you are basing it on 55 at bat samples or cases where he was actually better than Butler while ignoring the defensive differential is almost dishonest.
Excellent points, vmmer ! As I’m writing this, Country Breakfast already has an RBI against the Sox = )
I ignored defensive differential because this is about adding a DH. Solano is obviously head-and-shoulders above Butler defensively, but I didn’t feel that relevant. Not sure what 55 PA sample size you’re referring to…
I don’t think that any Rule V decisions would be made on September sample sizes. I believe that the Yankees’ front office has already decided who they want to protect this offseason, but if you don’t believe that to be the case, I can respect that. No use debating what neither one of us have any real information to. I don’t expect Butler to return next year; he’s worth a 40 man spot somewhere, but with Bird returning, I don’t really see the fit beyond 2016
This is only “about adding a DH if you limit the discussion to adding Butler and only view him as a DH.
Since there is no benefit to the team in getting a player that is only a DH, and since we are comparing the value of two players, you aren’t making an honest comparison if you just look at their ability at that position.
I was referring to his most recent experience in Miami
They have a great young crop because of cashman. They lost their right handed youngster in Judge. This is who they are replacing him with for 16 games. They didnt sign him for next year FYI. They are not starting him in place of sanchez.
They lost one of many right handed youngsters.
The solution wasn’t to go back to the failed practice of signing another reject. It was to go back to AAA and bring up another right handed hitter and hope to either save a good player from the rule 5 draft and or get another Sanchez, Maas, Spencer type of early performance that makes a difference.
As for trading Beltran for a couple of prospects if you are still going to try to win this year? WTF?
Can we please stop praising cashman for this young group of prospects he brought over that are most likely not even going to get a shot with the yankees. I am a huge yankee fan but cashman is not this genius that everyone is making him out to be after this deadline. He is one of the main reasons along with hank and hal that we currently sit in this mess of a roster. This is the same guy that traded a young melky cabrera for Javier fricking Vasquez acquiring him for the second time after failing in pinstripes. Also let cano walk, signed ellsbury and mccann to terrible contracts, along with tex arod and cc the second time, traded a young potential allstar in yongarte solarves to sd for a one hit wonder in headly then resigned him for 4 more years, kept signing stephen drew for some odd reason, allowed eduardo nunez to walk out the door the list of craptastical moves goes on and on with this guy hes terrible.. you want to see a good gm look at theo epstein dude has two core major league rosters to his name right now in boston and chi
Who the hell is Yongarte Solarves?? You probably mean Yongervis Solarte. Not exactly a “young potential all star”. Cashman is no genius, but he does get credit for the 2009 team.
Boston was essentially like the Yankees when Theo was there: win now. With the Cubs he just tanked for stars. I dont see how he is better than Cashman, who probably made most of these “dumb” moves because he was forced to by management.
Personally I don’t like the Butler signing but it’s not like the Yankees have right handed MLB ready talent in Scranton or Trenton. That being said, it would have been exciting to see Frazier get called up even though he did not hit well in SWB.
I think that the upcoming 40 man roster decisions had an influence on this signing. Butler is gone at the end of the season so that spot is available for a roster move. But if they promote one of the players not currently on the 40-man it might mean they get into a numbers crunch in the off season and have to expose someone they would rather keep.
This is not a bad signing at all. The Yankees are only on the hook for $50k salary. Since Judge is hurt they needed to add a bat. If they get anything at at all offensively out of Butler this will be a good signing. I’m glad they didn’t try to hurry Bird back, and Judge needs alot of work to cut down on strike outs. Butler will be gone after the end of this season and Bird will be back for next spring. Hopefully Judge can cut down on his strikeouts or he will be back to the minors. The Yankees have nothing to lose by signing Butler.
Hopefully all the Yankees players have the correct shoes on.
I believe this is a good move for the Yankees. Butler, like Steve Pierce is a professional hitter and fills a temporary but important need for the Yanks. You won’t have to worry about him being a distraction in the clubhouse. The Yankee clubhouse is a totally different dynamic than the zoo out in Oakland. Texiera, McCann, Gardner for starters, would eat Butler for lunch if he were to step out of line. That’s part of the problem in Oakland; Beane trades so often there is very little chance to establish hierarchy within the clubhouse. Everyone on the team seems to do their own thing because they know they won’t be there long.
I couldn’t believe what the A’s paid for him, and I doubt many were surprised by the result. I don’t know what the Yankees expect him to do beyond what he’s done the past three years, but it’s certainly more than I imagine they’ll get. Might as well put a plate of grits and scrambled eggs in the batter’s box. Admittedly, every now and then he squares one up and goes yard, but not that often.
Silly boy is eating his way out of MLB. He reminds me of the fat kid in the Goonies.
A cant believe a $50k move by the Yankees would ever get this much action. It’s Butlers chance to showcase whatever he’s got for a chance at a future in baseball. Probably Cashman’s easiest decision of the year. They are committed to 50k.
He looks like porky pig but 2 rbi’s on the night for $50k against Red Sox. Contract has paid off in full already.
Anybody else notice he’s closer to batting 300 than he is 250? This is another mismanaged player in a long looooong line of Oakland A’s debacles.