Is Butera worth the $700,000 contract?

Aug 31, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA; Minnesota Twins catcher Drew Butera at bat during the game against the Chicago White Sox at US Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins avoided arbitration with catcher Drew Butera, signing him to a one-year deal worth $700,000, the team announced Thursday.

Butera, 29, earned $480,000 last season and is expected to be the club’s third catcher this season behind Joe Mauer and Ryan Doumit. Manager Ron Gardenhire has expressed a desire for carrying three catchers on the roster, as he regularly plays Mauer and Doumit at the same time. Doumit figures to get a lot of playing time at DH.

In three seasons with the Twins, Butera hit .183/.232/.265 with five homers and 41 RBIs in 184 games.

According to FanGraphs, an advanced statistics website, Butera would’ve earned $400,000—or league minimum of $480,000—in an open free-agent market this year based on a conversion of WAR (wins above replacement) to salary of last year’s production. The previous year, the website projected a $3.9 million payday.

Despite a lackluster stat line, Butera’s value comes in his defense and pitch-calling ability. He is arguably the best defensive backstop on the roster, even with Mauer on the club.

Butera saw a tremendous drop in innings played last season and figures to play about the same amount this season.

Topics: Drew Butera, Minnesota Twins

Want more from Sporting Sota?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.

LIVEFeed More LOCAL news from the Fansided Network

Hot on the Web From