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Top '13 Stories: #12 - Drew Butera traded

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ID:	6219It’s possible that Minnesota Twins fans, and Twins Daily fans in particular, got a little too worked up about Drew Butera’s Twins career. I’ll grant you that. Nevertheless, it was big news when the Twins lone “trade deadline” move was trading Butera to the Dodgers. The immediate announcement was for a “player to be named later” who ended up being Miguel Subran, an A-ball pitching prospect.

Certainly Butera hadn’t impacted the Twins much in 2013 – he had only three at-bats. (By the way, he had a similar impact with the Dodgers, totaling only seven at-bats with them.) And his usage in his three-and-a-half years with the major league club was relatively sparse. He totaled just 541 AB in his tenure.

But it sure seemed more significant than that for anyone who lived through the 2011 season. That was the year that Joe Mauer and his career .323 batting average were laid up for long spans with bi-lateral leg weakness. Butera ended up with the lion’s share of Mauer’s at-bats, posting a .167 batting average, even as the organization raved about his defense.

It’s possible that the Butera fans overrate that aspect of Butera’s game, while it’s also possible that Butera critics underrated it, preferring to concentrate on his .181 career batting average. But both camps were encouraged by the return that the Twins got from the Dodgers in the trade. The 19-year-old Sulbaran finished the year with a 2.96 ERA in Low A and 101K in 120 IP. He’s not a top prospect, but he’s the type to keep an eye on, waiting to see if he can continue to develop as he matures.

However, the excitement about this trade was mostly driven by the perception that the Twins were turning the page on an unhealthy infatuation with a player with limited upside. In a year with a quiet trade deadline, the organization seemed to recognize the right way to go, and take a small step in that direction. Regardless of the return, that ended up being a big story in Twins Territory.
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