Billy Butler was already on a short leash with the A's after a disappointing first year in Oakland, and though his average climbed back up 25 points in 2016, his power all but disappeared with just four home runs in 85 games with the A's. In addition to his struggles on the field, he was involved in a clubhouse altercation in August with a teammate that landed him on the 7-day concussion disabled list. He was released less than a month later. The 30-year-old signed with the Yankees and served a platoon role for the final few weeks of the season, and he seemed to benefit from the change of scenery with a .345 average and .892 OPS in the 12-game stint. Butler could see some playing time against left-handed pitching at first base or DH for an AL club in 2017.
Butler went 1-for-3 with two RBI and scored a run in his Yankee debut Thursday versus Boston. Added to the Yankees' roster earlier on Thursday, Butler arrived at the park about 90 minutes before game time and made an immediate impact with a first-inning sacrifice fly, a run-scoring single in the third and a run scored. Butler was released on Sunday by the Athletics, and the Yankees plan to use him as their designated hitter against left-handed pitching for the remainder of the regular season.
Butler is in the lineup Thursday against Boston, Erik Boland of Newsday reports. Butler is set to make his Yankees debut Thursday night. He'll hit fifth and serve as New York's DH against Eduardo Rodriguez and the Red Sox.
Butler has a deal in place with the Yankees, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports. Butler will reportedly join the Yankees on a major league deal, but it's unclear how much of an everyday role he will have with the club. Brian McCann has served as the team's designated hitter of late but the Yankees could go with the platoon matchup, giving Butler the starts against lefties.
Butler was released by the Athletics on Sunday. Though Butler was holding down a respectable .331 on-base percentage for the season, he had only slugged four homers and 16 doubles in 242 plate appearances. That lack of pop and Butler's inability to play the field made him an expendable player on the roster, despite the fact that he was under contract through 2017. It's unclear if he'll be able to latch on with another team before the season ends, but he should find a home somewhere before the start of spring training.
Butler (concussion) was activated off the disabled list Monday Butler hasn't played since August 17 after landing on the concussion disabled list last week, but it appears the symptoms are now totally behind him as he's set to rejoin the roster. The 30-year-old will look to pick up where he left off, as he'd been enjoying a strong month to the tune of a .333 average in 11 games. Arismendy Alcantara was optioned back to Triple-A in a corresponding move to clear up space on the 25-man roster.