The Texas Rangers have signed veteran catcher Drew Butera to a minor league deal, per reports. The deal is reportedly for $1 million if he makes the major league team, with another $500,000 in incentives.
Butera, 37, has spent parts of 11 seasons in the majors with five different teams in a backup catcher role. He has a career .198/.255/.294 slash line in 1437 plate appearances, and his career high in place appearances in a season is 254, all the way back in 2011 with the Minnesota Twins. He hasn’t cracked 200 plate appearances in the majors in a single season otherwise.
Butera is veteran catching depth for the Rangers. Plan A going into the season would appear to be for Jose Trevino to assume the starting catching duties, with Aramis Garcia, claimed on waivers from the San Francisco Giants this offseason, backing him up, and Sam Huff starting the season in Frisco or Round Rock. Trevino’s track record, however, has not been great in regards to hitting or staying healthy, and Garcia is, well, a guy who was a waiver claim. Huff could be ready for the majors at some point in 2021, but probably not to start the season, and the final catcher on the 40 man roster, David Garcia, has never played in full season ball and is not a major league option for 2021.
So signing a veteran catcher or three to a minor league deal as insurance and depth was going to be a given, and Butera will now be around this spring in case he is needed.