Colorado Rockies free agent signing: A familiar face returns to the Rockies

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Drew Butera #16 of the Colorado Rockies celebrates in the dugout with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning of the MLB game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Drew Butera #16 of the Colorado Rockies celebrates in the dugout with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning of the MLB game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images) /
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As we and many other Colorado Rockies media outlets predicted long ago, the Colorado Rockies are bringing back catcher Drew Butera.

According to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, the Colorado Rockies have resigned catcher Drew Butera to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training.

As Rox Pile’s Kevin Henry predicted just before the start of the Winter Meetings, Butera was the “Thanos” of the Rockies offseason and many, including myself, saw this coming a long time ago.

This was partially because the amount of playing time that Butera received in September for the Rockies as a September call-up. The Rockies have also resigned him a few times before.

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In just 49 plate appearances at the MLB level in 2019, Butera, 36, hit just .163/.229/.233, which comes out to an OPS+ of 13. Even in that small span, by fWAR, that made Butera tied for the 10th worst catcher in baseball in 2019 and he was tied with fellow Rockies catchers Tony Wolters and Chris Iannetta and former Rockies catcher Jonathan Lucroy with a -0.5 fWAR.

In Triple-A Albuquerque, he played in 67 games and hit much better as he hit .300/.389/.511 with nine homers and 40 RBI.

Overall, Butera has played in 515 games in the past decade for a number of different MLB teams. Since making his MLB debut in 2010, Butera, by fWAR, has been the fifth worst catcher in all of baseball as he has played to a -3.2 fWAR. Only three other players in the top 30 worst catchers by fWAR in the decade played a MLB game in 2019 (Juan Centeno, Bryan Holaday and John Hicks) and Centeno was the only other catcher besides Butera in the top 10, as he was tied in 9th.

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While many expected the move, I would expect that the Rockies will still sign or trade for another MLB catcher. Butera did not get a MLB deal so I think that Butera will likely spend most of the 2020 season in Albuquerque.

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