Former A's designated hitter and first baseman Billy Butler is joining the Yankees, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman. The club has not yet confirmed the report.Butler, 30, was released by the A's on Sunday after two years in Oakland. He hit .276/.331/.403 with four homers and 31 RBIs through 85 games with the A's this season but had primarily logged time against left-handers. He saw his playing time further decrease with the arrival of September callups.
"It was just time really," manager Bob Melvin said this weekend. "It's uncomfortable for a guy like him to sit on the bench. His at-bats were drying up. He wasn't going to be in the plans for next year. I give the organization credit for doing this now rather than later and making what could be an uncomfortable situation even more with a guy like him not getting any at-bats." The Yankees will be Butler's third big league team. He spent the first eight years of his career, including his 2012 All-Star campaign, with the Royals before signing a $30 million, three-year deal with the A's prior to the 2015 season. Butler joins a Yankees team in the midst of a playoff push, currently four games back in the American League East and two games behind in the AL Wild Card race. Butler won't be eligible for the postseason, however, as he was not on the 40-man roster as of the Aug. 31 deadline. The right-handed-hitting Butler is slashing .299/.381/.491 for his career against left-handed pitchers, and the Yankees will face three in this weekend's series against the Red Sox. Chad Thornburg/ MLB.com