The New York Yankees need all the help they can get in order to reach the playoffs, and they’re turning to Billy Butler for some of that.
The Yankees, sources told FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman and FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, signed Butler late Wednesday night, three days after the Oakland Athletics released the veteran slugger.
Butler wouldn’t be eligible for the postseason roster if the Yankees make it, but he could give them a boost in the season’s final two weeks. The 30-year-old hits left-handed pitching well, and the Yankees will face plenty of southpaws, starting Thursday night in Boston, where the Red Sox will send Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound. New York also will face David Price over the weekend at Fenway Park.
Butler appeared in just 85 games with the A’s this season, hitting just .276 with four home runs and 31 RBI. His numbers actually were better against right-handers this season, but he’s a career .299 hitter against lefties with an .872 OPS — which is more than 100 points higher than his OPS against righties.
The Yankees enter the weekend series in Boston trailing the Red Sox by four games in the American League East and just two games out in the AL wild card race. Of course, New York also would have to pass both Toronto and Baltimore in the East, and it still trails Detroit and Seattle (winners of eight straight) in the wild-card race.
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