Drew Butera signs two-year deal with Royals

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Free agent catcher Drew Butera has signed a two-year deal with the Royals, according to a team announcement on Friday. Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reports a $3.8 million figure for Butera, who is expected to receive $1.5 million in 2017 and the remaining $2.3 million in 2018.

It’s a sweet deal for the veteran backstop, who played second-string to Salvador Perez during the 2016 season and saw a total of 51 games behind the plate. He made his presence felt in the few plate appearances he racked up, batting .285/.328/.480 with four home runs and 16 RBI in 133 PA. He also made a couple spot starts at first base and, to the delight of #weirdbaseball fans everywhere, exercised his pitching skills in two losses for the Royals, striking out one of five batters and giving up no runs.

Dodd added that Butera intends to donate a portion of his salary to fund the Kansas City MLB Urban Youth Academy, which is scheduled to complete its second phase of construction by the summer of 2017. The community facility has already received sizable contributions from several Royals players, including Salvador Perez, Alex Gordon, and Chris Young.

Rays moving spring camp due to damage caused by hurricane

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rays are relocating their spring base for 2023 due to extensive damage to team training facilities caused by Hurricane Ian.

The Rays have trained since 2009 in Port Charlotte, Florida, about 90 minutes south of St. Petersburg, and intend to explore several options before making a decision on where to hold spring training and play Grapefruit League games when camp opens.

The team and Charlotte County released a joint statement Thursday, saying damage to Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte can’t be repaired in time to host games this winter.

“Charlotte County supports the Rays efforts to secure alternative accommodations for 2023 spring training,” the statement said.

“We are all disappointed for the residents of Charlotte County and the fans there. The community is in the thoughts and hearts of the Rays, and the team will continue to support recovery efforts,” the statement added. “The Rays and Charlotte County intend to develop a restoration plan for Charlotte Sports Park in the coming weeks.”