The Royals have traded catcher Drew Butera to the Colorado Rockies for minor league left-handed pitcher Jerry Vasto. Butera was hitting .188/.259/.289 with two home runs in 51 games for the Royals this year and was set to be a free agent at the end of the year.
The 35-year old Butera was originally acquired from the Angels in a trade for infielder Ryan Jackson in 2015. He would end that year catching the final out of the 2015 World Series from Wade Davis. Butera had a career-best year in 2016, when he batted .285/.328/.480 with four home runs. That would lead to a two-year contract for $3.8 million. But he would struggle with the bat after that, batting just .208 over the next two seasons. Butera was known for his occasional pitching appearances, his love of dogs, and his hair flips.
Jerry Vasto is a 26-year old lefty who has made one Major League appearance, giving up three runs while recording two outs in a game earlier in June. He was a 24th round pick in the 2014 draft out of Felician College in New Jersey. Vasto had a 3.16 ERA with 44 srtrikouts in 37 innings for AAA Albuquerque this year and throws in the low 90s. He had a reverse split this year, with lefties hitting him better than righties in the minors, and struggled last year with a 6.88 ERA in AAA.
Vasto was on the Rockies’ 40-man roster, so he will likely replace Butera’s spot on the Royals’ 40-man roster. The Royals have called up catcher Cam Gallagher to take Butera’s place on the active roster. Brian Goodwin was also activated from the disabled list to take the place of Lucas Duda, who was traded to the Braves yesterday. Reports indicate the Royals will also call up catcher Meibrys Viloria from High-A Wilmington when rosters expand on September 1.