Last night the Oakland Athletics released Billy Butler. It wasn’t a shock 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. If you think, however, that the Butler release was the A’s tacit way of holding Butler responsible for the altercation, think again, because the A’s are going to release Valencia too.
That comes via Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, who says that Valencia is not likely to last the final three weeks of the season. Given that Valencia has played well this year — he’s hitting .289/.346/.458, with a lot of that production coming as a lefty-masher — it’s hard not to see the impending move as the A’s turning the page on what has been a tumultuous clubhouse this season. Coco Crisp, who bristled over his lack of playing time and his belief that the A’s were trying to keep his 2017 option from vesting, was traded two weeks ago.