Rays drop Joey Butler to make room for Hank Conger
To make room for newly acquired C Hank Conger on the 40-man roster, the Rays designated for assignment OF Joey Butler.
If Butler gets through waivers, the Rays are hoping to keep him in the organization by re-signing him to a minor-league deal.
Butler, 29, unexpectedly emerged as a key offensive weapon for the Rays last season after LF Desmond Jennings was sidelined, hitting .338 with an ,897 OPS over 44 games through late June, though cooling considerably after that. Still, he hit .276, with 8 homers, 30 RBIs and a .742 OPS for the season over 88 games in his first extended opportunity for big-league playing time.
"He did a great job for us last year," said Rays president of baseball operations Matt Silverman. "He was an offensive force for us for a good part of the year and a great teammate throughout. He's someone we'd love to keep in our organization. We'll see how the next several days pan out. But hopefully he stays in our organization and can be a part of it for a while."
The Rays had to make the move because their 40-man roster is full; they are now carrying five catchers - projected starter Curt Casali, Rene Rivera, Conger, Luke Maile (who made his big-league debut last season) and prospect Justin O'Conner.