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.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.