The Royals have signed catcher Drew Butera to a two-year deal, according to MLB.com reporter Jeffrey Flanagan. According to reporter Chris Cotillo, Butera will receive $1.5 million in 2017 and $2.3 million in 2018.
The 33-year old Butera was eligible for free agency for the first time. He is coming off a a career year, where he hit .285/.328/.480 with 4 HR 16 RBI in 133 plate appearances and was a 0.4 WAR player. Defensively, he was a -0.1 Defensive WAR player and he threw out just 5 of 20 basestealers, below the league average.
Dayton Moore: "We made it very clear once the season was over that we wanted to bring back Drew [Butera]. He’s been a valuable performer."— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) November 18, 2016
Butera is a very well-liked player, known for his hair flips, and has had some big moments in Royals history, such as his walk during the comeback in Game 4 of the American League Divisional Series against Houston, and catching the final out of the 2015 World Series. However, he has been very offensively limited in his career, and is still under the Mendoza Line in his career, with a career line of .198/.253/.295 in 986 Major League plate appearances.
It seems like the Royals could probably get similar production for cheaper from freely available sources like the waiver wire, but Butera is popular among teammates, and this contract certainly won’t break the bank.