Dan Butler

Red Sox designate Dan Butler for assignment to make room for Craig Breslow

Rob Bradford
January 07, 2015 - 6:12 am
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In the end, Drake Britton's potential was too good to part ways with quite yet. The Red Sox designated catcher Dan Butler for assignment to clear up room on the 40-man roster for newly signed Craig Breslow. The decision always appeared like it would come down to either Butler or Britton. The case for keeping the catcher was that if something happened to Ryan Hanigan or Christian Vazquez early in the season, the former undrafted free agent out of the University of Arizona would be needed. Top prospect Blake Swihart is the only other catcher on the Red Sox' 40-man roster, and he wouldn't seem to be a major league option until later in the season. Britton also was out of options, meaning if he didn't make the team in spring training he couldn't be sent down to the minor leagues. Butler does have options. But with the Red Sox needing another lefty in the bullpen, and with Britton bouncing back from a horrific minor league campaign in 2014 to impress in his seven outings with the Sox at the end of the year (6 2/3 innings, 5 hits, 0 runs), the value of the reliever was too much to part ways with quite yet. Butler, who could re-sign with the Red Sox on a minor league deal, was one of the best Sox stories in '14. The 28-year-old made his major league debut and appeared in seven games, hitting .211 with three doubles. The Breslow announcement comes after the lefty agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal with the Red Sox on Dec. 19. The lefty passed his physical, which was taken Monday. (To read about how Breslow landed back with the Red Sox this offseason, click here.)

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