2013 Dodgers in Review #4: C Drew Butera

November 3, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Posted in 2013 in Review, Drew Butera | Leave a comment

90topps_drewbutera.143/.143/.143 7pa 0hr .127 wOBA -0.1 fWAR (inc.)

2013 in brief: Hey, four whole days before I regret dedicating a post to each player!

2014 status: Arbitration-eligible, possibly a non-tender candidate, but more likely someone about to get extremely familiar with New Mexico.

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You may or may not remember this, but when the July 31 trade deadline passed, it looked like Ned Colletti had finally resisted the urge to tinker, to the point where I even made a post saying nothing had happened. But minutes later, we learned that a trade had been made, and for some reason, it was adding catcher Drew Butera from Minnesota for a player to be named.

Or as I said at the time:

Butera made his debut in 2010 and in parts of four seasons backing up Joe Mauer he’s… oh lord, that’s bad. That’s a .182/.230/.263 line in 534 plate appearances, which, as Andrew Grant notes, is good for a 36 OPS+ that is the third-worst of all time with a minimum of 500 plate appearances.

Catching depth being what it is, Butera went off to Albuquerque and somehow couldn’t even hit there, putting up a .135/.196/.231 in 57 plate appearances, because, if you haven’t noticed yet, the man is not a professional quality hitter. But he still came up in September when rosters expanded, because every team carries three catchers, and actually managed to get a start… at first base. (He went 0-3 with two strikeouts. Obviously.)

This would all be completely not noteworthy in any way except for this: On August 13, we learned who was going back to Minnesota to complete the deal, and it was 19-year-old lefty Miguel Sulbaran. He’s not great, and he’s probably not even likely to reach the majors. But he’s more than the “bag of baseballs” we thought it would be, and to this day I still don’t understand it.

******

Next! Adrian Gonzalez is not pre-2013 James Loney, and for this we are thankful!

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