The New York Yankees reportedly added another bat to their roster for the stretch run Wednesday.
Butler struggled with Oakland this season, slashing .276/.331/.403 with four home runs and 31 RBI in 85 games. The production was a far cry from the numbers he put up for the Kansas City Royals in his prime, when he hit .313 and drilled 29 home runs with 107 RBI in 2012.
He was part of the Royals team that reached the World Series in 2014 before losing to the San Francisco Giants.
In all, the 30-year-old is slashing .289/.354/.441 with 146 homers in his career.
It wasn’t just a drop-off in his power numbers that preceded Oakland’s decision to release Butler. Slusser chronicled a fight he had with then-teammate Danny Valencia in August.
Slusser cited multiple sources who said Butler told an equipment representative that Valencia lied about using off-brand cleats only during pregame warm-ups and “allegedly told the representative that the company should drop Valencia’s endorsement deal.”
The players then pushed each other before Valencia reportedly hit Butler in the head.
Rosenthal suggested the Yankees will use their newly acquired hitter against left-handers, whom they will face seven times in the next 11 contests. However, Butler has hit three of his four home runs this year and 26 of his 39 long balls from 2013 to 2015 against righties, per ESPN.com.
Butler hasn’t been the force he once was during the 2016 campaign, but he is a proven bat who can help an offense that has struggled for much of the year. As of Wednesday, New York's 610 runs scored ranked 22nd in the big leagues.
Butler may not be a season-saving presence in the lineup, but the Yankees offense needs a boost as the club chases a playoff spot.