• Top '13 Stories: #12 - Drew Butera traded

    It’s possible that Minnesota Twins fans, and Twins Daily fans in particular, got a little too worked up about Drew Butera’s Twins career. I’ll grant you that. Nevertheless, it was big news when the Twins lone “trade deadline” move was trading Butera to the Dodgers. The immediate announcement was for a “player to be named later” who ended up being Miguel Subran, an A-ball pitching prospect.
    Certainly Butera hadn’t impacted the Twins much in 2013 – he had only three at-bats. (By the way, he had a similar impact with the Dodgers, totaling only seven at-bats with them.) And his usage in his three-and-a-half years with the major league club was relatively sparse. He totaled just 541 AB in his tenure.

    But it sure seemed more significant than that for anyone who lived through the 2011 season. That was the year Joe Mauer, with his career .323 batting average, was laid up for long spans with bi-lateral leg weakness. Butera ended up with the lion’s share of Mauer’s at-bats, posting a .167 batting average, even as the organization raved about his defense.

    It’s possible Butera's fans overrated that aspect of his game, while it’s also possible that Butera's critics underrated it, preferring to concentrate on his .181 career batting average. But both camps were encouraged by the return the Twins got from the Dodgers in the trade. The 19-year-old Sulbaran finished the year with a 2.96 ERA in Low A and 101K in 120 IP. He’s not a top prospect, but he’s the type to keep an eye on, as we wait to see if he can continue to develop as he matures.

    However, the excitement about this trade was mostly driven by the perception that the Twins were turning the page on an unhealthy infatuation with a player with limited upside. In a year with a quiet trade deadline, the organization seemed to recognize the right way to go and took a small step in that direction. Regardless of the return, that ended up being a big story in Twins Territory.
    This article was originally published in blog: Top '13 Stories: #12 - Drew Butera traded started by John Bonnes
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      "Fun" Butera factoid:

      22 qualified hitters in the majors this year had a higher SLG% than Drew's career OPS (.491).
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      But somehow no-hit catchers can survive. Look at the career of Corky Miller. Of course, getting $50 grand and being an AAA player for decades is better than selling cars. Watch, Drew may have a longer career than Dad Sal.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Got to love it when one of the top stories of the year is the trade of the starting AAA non-prospect catcher. Wonder if "Eric Fryer traded" will be a top 2014 story
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Butera has been a talker around the organization for 5 or 6 years. He is a polarizing topic. Looking back at the top stories by pageviews throughout the year, Butera's trade definitely fits in. then add that they were able to get a solid left handed pitching prospect in exchange for him and it adds to a good story.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Butera has been a talker around the organization for 5 or 6 years. He is a polarizing topic. Looking back at the top stories by pageviews throughout the year, Butera's trade definitely fits in. then add that they were able to get a solid left handed pitching prospect in exchange for him and it adds to a good story.
      I totally agree. It just blows my mind that there has been so much discussion and discourse about the AAA catcher. At least last season, the Twins used him where he belonged so at least in 2013 Butera was not a big deal. When Gardy started him in times of bilateral weekness, it was a different story, but that was not 2013. That's why players like him and Punto were polarizing: They were used in ways they should not have been used by the manager (who should be the polarizing figure instead of players of limited abilities...)
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      part of the story, in my mind, is the value that solid defensive catchers have in the trade market.
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