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Report: Yankees sign Billy Butler to a major league deal

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Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball reports that the Yankees have signed DH Billy Butler to a major league contract. He is expected to fit into the lineup against left-handed pitching. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports notes that the Yankees will face left-handed starters in seven of their next 11 games.

The Yankees, who were shut out 2-0 by the Dodgers on Wednesday evening, find themselves only two games out of the second American League Wild Card slot, so adding Butler can give them the slight push they need. Butler uncharacteristically showed a reverse platoon split this season, meaning he hit same-handed pitching better than opposite-handed. However, over his career dating back to 2007, Butler has an .872 OPS against lefties and .766 against right-handers.

Butler, 30, was recently released by the Athletics after hitting .276/.331/.403 in 242 plate appearances. He was involved in a clubhouse altercation with teammate Danny Valencia that ultimately resulted in a concussion for Butler.

Blue Jays sign Marc Rzepczynski to minor league deal

Marc Rzepczynski
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The Blue Jays announced on Monday the signing of lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. “Scrabble,” as he’s affectionately known, spent the first two and a half years of his career with the Blue Jays in 2009-11.

Rzepczynski, 34, hasn’t appeared in the majors since July 2018. He struggled across 44 2/3 innings with the Reno Aces, the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate, last year. He posted a 5.04 ERA with 36 strikeouts and 28 walks.

While lefty relievers are always high in demand, it seems likely that Rzepczynski will begin the regular season in the minors and serve as organizational depth for the Blue Jays.