NASHVILLE – The Indians did make a move on the first day of the 2015 MLB Winter Meetings, as the team claimed outfielder Joey Butler from the Tampa Bay Rays.
In return the team designated lefty pitcher Jayson Aquino for assignment.
“Joey is a right-handed bat that provides some depth for us and will come in and compete for a spot on the team,” Indians GM Mike Chernoff said. “He has an option remaining so he provides some versatility and depth for us.”
Last season Butler in 88 games with the Rays hit .276 with eight homers and 36 RBI. With the AAA Durham Bulls he hit .333 with six homers and 24 RBI in 31 games.
The 29-year-old has also played with Texas and St.Louis, and was designated by the Rays back on December 3rd. He was drafted by the Rangers in the 15th round of the 2008 MLB draft.
“He had a good year up and down with Tampa last year, a good offensive year when he was in the Major Leagues, especially early on,” Chernoff said. “He’s a guy that could fill one of our spots in the outfield.”
He may be best known for being the guy that got a hit off Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco with two outs in the 9th inning of what would have been a no-hitter back last July 1st.
Butler hit very well last May, as his first game with the Rays was on May 3rd, and for the month of May hit .329 with three homers and eight RBI.
Last season at the Major League level he played mostly left field and DH for the Rays.
Aquino last season with the Lynchburg Hillcats of the Carolina League was 1-3 with a 2.45 ERA.
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