Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Athletics have released 1B/DH Billy Butler. The news doesn’t come as any surprise, as Butler has underperformed in both of his years with the A’s and was recently involved in a clubhouse altercation with teammate Danny Valencia in which Butler ended up suffering a concussion.
Speaking to the media on Sunday, Butler said he doesn’t believe his altercation with Valencia affected the club’s decision to release him, per Slusser.
The Athletics signed Butler, 30, to a three-year, $30 million contract in November 2014. He put up a pedestrian .713 OPS in 2015 and a .733 OPS this season. In 242 trips to the plate this year, , Butler hit only four home runs and knocked in 31 runs. 60 of the 80 times he reached base, he did it via a single or a walk.
As Butler’s playing time has waned, the Athletics have been using Khris Davis, Stephen Vogt, and Bruce Maxwell in the DH spot.
Butler has one year and $10 million remaining on his contract. The Athletics will be responsible for covering it.