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The Rundown: Butera Heads West

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The Twins just managed to avoid the shutout Wednesday afternoon, dealing catcher Drew Butera to the Dodgers for a PTBNL just before the 4:00 p.m. ET non-waiver trade deadline passed.

Drafted by the Mets in 2005, Butera has spent the past six years in the Twins organization. He has been up and down with the club over the past four seasons, having played in only 186 major league games in that span (and just two this season). Buteraís value is derived entirely from his defense, as his offensive numbers are just that Ė offensive. His career .182/.230/.263 line is bad even for a catcher, and his numbers over seven seasons in the minors (.217/.294/.320) are not much better. In fact, as noted by SIís Jay Jaffe, few hitters have been as bad over the past two decades.

What Butera does do well, though, is play defense. For the Dodgers, his acquisition means increased organizational depth at catcher. He will reportedly remain in Triple-A for now, and is set to join the Albuquerque Isotopes of the Pacific Coast League. Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said as much in an interview with MLB Network immediately following the trade, adding that Butera will likely to join the big league club in September as the third catcher.

As for the Twins, moving Butera creates some much needed roster flexibility at the catching position. Chris Herrmann has proven a capable replacement in his short stint with the team, with more pop and the added ability to play a corner outfield position. The Twins also have Josmil Pinto putting up very solid numbers (.306/.410/.482) in his second season at Double-A, and this trade likely opens up a spot for him in Rochester. Further, after investing both a third- and a sixth-round pick on catchers in this yearís amateur draft (Stuart Turner and Brian Navarreto, respectively), there is no shortage of depth at the lower levels of the system.

There is also a financial component to consider. Under contract for $700,000 this year* and arbitration eligible for three more seasons as a Super Two, Butera was likely to be non-tendered this offseason anyway. A rebuilding team simply does not spend a million dollars on a backup catcher, especially one that hits about as well as I do. Trading Butera now simply moves that decision up a few months, and in doing so gives him a better chance to play somewhere else. It also frees up the teamís logjam at catcher and allows the front office to see what it has in Herrmann and Pinto.

Overall, this deal will likely have little impact on the future of either franchise. From the Twins perspective, though, itís at least another small step forward on the long journey back to relevance. #p2c

*Per Cot's Contracts

Originally posted at pitching2contact

Updated 08-01-2013 at 01:49 AM by jdotmcmahon

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  1. SpitefulRabbit617's Avatar
    Throughout Twins territory, there are people crying into their Butera jerseys.....
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