Recently designated for assignment by the Boston Red Sox in order to make room for Craig Breslow, Dan Butler is now on the market for teams thin on catching depth.
Although Butler is out of the job for now, he is keeping his head high and is optimistic for his big league future.
“I feel like there are probably teams interested. There’s not a lot of catchers out there. You always hear people are looking for catchers. I’m assuming that’s why they were hesitant to do this. It might create a different type of possibility for me to maybe continue on with another team. But, again, worst-case scenario you’re back with the Red Sox, and that’s not a bad thing.”
Butler who is known as a great receiver who can block balls behind the plate hit .241 with a .317 OBP for the Paw Sox last season but got hot late in the season going 12 for his last 29 at the plate.
In the big leagues, the rookie who was an undrafted free agent in the 2009 MLB draft went 4-for-19 at the plate and drew a walk in seven games last season.
Since he is now available for waiver claims, it would not be surprising to see a big league team who needs a backup catcher pursue Butler and claim him off waivers in the next few days.
Among the teams in the most need of catching is the Arizona Diamondbacks. Right now they only have two catchers on the 40-man roster: Tuffy Gosewsich and Oscar Hernandez.
Gosewisch played in 41 games for the Diamondbacks last season and posted a .242 OBP in his big league tenure while gunning down 8-of-19 attempted base stealers which is impressive to say the least. Also owning a .996 fielding percentage, it is clear that the Diamondbacks value defense first when it comes to catching.
Hernandez was a Rule V draft pick by the Diamondbacks back in December who has topped out at low-A in his career.
In 94 games for the Bowling Green Hot Rods last season, Hernandez hit .249 with a .301 OBP and smacked nine home runs while gunning down 41% of people who tried to run on him. He is young, he is raw, but the 21-year-old has plenty of potential-- he is just a few years away at this point.
The way it looks right now, Butler who is from Arizona is a perfect fit for the Diamondbacks. Since they will likely end up giving Hernandez back to Tampa Bay since the odds of him making the Diamondbacks big league roster are slim, the team will need a backup catcher. Butler might not have a cannon of an arm, but he is an excellent defensive catcher who works well with pitchers. He would be a nice and cheap option for the Diamondbacks who just need a body behind the backstop at this point.
The fact that he might be able to add some pop doesn't hurt either.