The New York Yankees signed a former all-star and silver slugger in Billy Butler Wednesday evening. As first reported by Jon Heyman, the Yankees did indeed sign Butler to an MLB contract.
Butler, 30, was released by the Atheltics on Sunday as there were reports that Butler would not return to the A’s in 2017. Which gave the green and gold more incentive to release Butler. The play of Danny Valencia and rookie Ryon Healey also influenced the decision. The A’s released Butler with a year left on his current 3YR/$30M contract that he signed back in free agency of the 2014 season.To say Butler underperformed to his contract is an understatement. In the year and a half that Butler played with the A’s, he stroked only 19 HR’s in 843 AB’s. His slashline read as a below average .258/.325/.394. Butler also finished with a fWAR of -1.2 which ranks 18th worst of all position players in baseball since the start of the 2015 season. Prior to signing with the A’s in 2014, Butler was an above average player and the face of the Kansas City Royals franchise before they became a World Series championship team. From 2007-2014 with the Royals, Butler slammed 99 HR’s along with a .302/.379/.469 slashline in 7 seasons with Kansas City.
It is unclear if the Yankees are going to have to pick up the $10M owed to Butler in 2017. If the A’s are on the hook for most if not all of Butler’s salary, this should be a steal for the Yanks who will slot Butler in at DH for the rest of this season and next season to replace Mark Teixeira who is retiring at the end of 2016.
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