The Phillies have announced a deal with veteran catcher Drew Butera, as Jon Heyman of MLB Network first reported (Twitter link). It’s a minor-league arrangement that provides for a $1.3MM salary in the event that Butera is able to crack the MLB roster. He receives a spring invite.
Butera, 35, also picks up a $200K incentives package and notably early opt-out date of March 21st, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). That means he’ll have a shot to bolt to another organization late in camp if it seems there’s a better opportunity elsewhere.
A nine-year MLB veteran, Butera has never only once topped two hundred plate appearances in a single season — back in 2011, his sophomore campaign with the Twins. At the same time, he has reached triple-digit PAs in eight of those years.
Butera has carved out a robust career in spite of a lack of ability with the bat. He carries a meager .201/.258/.299 lifetime slash line, with just five home runs in 1,345 total trips to the plate. Butera doesn’t stand out in the pitch framing department either — actually, he has been a negative in recent years — but is otherwise sturdy behind the dish and has obviously carved out a reputation for handling a pitching staff.
For the Phillies, the signing gives the team another option to go with the youthful duo of Jorge Alfaro and Andrew Knapp. Odds are, presuming no further additions are made, Butera will do battle with Knapp in camp for the right to open the year in the majors alongside Alfaro.