Saturday, October 22, 2016

Should the Yankees Keep Billy Butler Just in Case?


Towards the end of the 2016 season the New York Yankees signed first baseman and DH Billy Butler to a Major League deal after falling out of grace with the Oakland Athletics. The Yankees plugged him directly into the middle of their lineup and straight into the first base position against the Boston Red Sox and he responded by lacing a couple of hits to start his Yankees career off on a good start. Now that the season is over for New York it looks like Butler’s tenure with the team is also coming to a close, well unless the team wants to keep him around just in case.

Should the Yankees want to keep him around just in case? As it stands right now, and yes things will change, New York will send Brian McCann to the DH position on most days while Greg Bird looks to get the bulk of the reps at first base along with Tyler Austin. Is three first baseman on the 25 man roster a little over kill? Honestly it probably is but the Yankees may make it work regardless.

The question surrounding Greg Bird with every throw, every swing and in every game will be the health of that shoulder. Can it withstand the grind of 162 games and how often will he “need a day?” The good thing about having Austin on the roster is that he can play first base when Bird needs a day but he can also play the outfield when Aaron Judge/Aaron Hicks also needs a day making him a versatile player. Butler you can’t really say that about.

With Butler you are getting a first baseman, a marginal one at that, and a right-handed DH with some pop. While most teams would like to have that it seems redundant to me to use a roster spot for that with Bird healthy. I’m not the Yankees though and I can see them being overly cautious with Bird leading to Butler being signed to a one-year deal with incentives.

If McCann is traded this winter it makes the situation and decision a whole lot easier to swallow but I have a feeling no matter what I say or how many reasons I put against Butler signing with the Yankees in 2017 that Brian Cashman is probably going to do it anyway. And to add on to that I could do the same about Butler and his playing time and Joe Girardi is just going to play him over Tyler Austin anyway so why bother right?

Have a great day Yankees family.


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