The Astros announced they’ve signed catcher Drew Butera to a minor league contract. He’ll be assigned to Triple-A Sugar Land. Butera had been in the Angels’ organization but was released today, setting the stage for this new opportunity.
Butera provides some security for a Houston club that lost fellow catcher Jason Castro to the 10-day injured list last week. Martín Maldonado and Garrett Stubbs are the only other backstops on the 40-man roster. Adding Butera — a respected veteran presence and well-regarded defender — to the high minors offers some additional cover in case Castro doesn’t make it back to the field in the near future.
While Butera saw brief big league time with the Angels this year, he’s spent much of the campaign at Triple-A. The right-handed hitter has posted a .222/.328/.354 line in that hitter-friendly environment. Of course, Butera has never been known for his offense. The 38-year-old owns a career .196/.252/.290 slash over parts of twelve seasons in the majors.
It’s no coincidence the AL West-leading Astros added Butera tonight. Signing him before September 1 means he’ll be eligible for Houston’s postseason roster. For now, he’ll hang around in the high minors as an insurance option. Butera will reach free agency at the end of the season.