Angels traded catcher Drew Butera only because they had to

The Angels reluctantly traded Drew Butera on Thursday when it became apparent they couldn’t slip the veteran catcher unclaimed through the waivers process.

Instead of letting Butera go for nothing after he was designated for assignment on Monday to make room on the roster for Carlos Perez, the Angels traded him to the Royals for minor league infielder Ryan Jackson. A fifth-round pick out of the University of Miami in 2009, Jackson has played in 20 major league games and hit .269 over six minor league seasons with five different organizations.

Losing Butera in order to call up Perez, who hit a walk-off home run on Tuesday in his major league debut, was a risk that made sense for the Angels. Perez was hitting .361 in Triple-A this season. Angels starting catcher Chris Iannetta’s batting average was .094 entering Thursday.

Jackson, 26, serves an immediate need for organizational depth considering left shoulder injuries have landed three shortstops to the disabled list, Eric Stamets with Double-A Arkansas, Roberto Baldoquin with Class-A Inland Empire and Jake Yacinich with Class-A Burlington. This season Jackson hit .309 with three doubles, a home run and two RBI for Triple-A Omaha. He hit .083 in his 20 major league appearances with the Cardinals from 2012 through 2013. The Royals acquired Jackson in November from the Dodgers.

Butera will be a free agent at the end of this season. He hit .190 in 10 games with the Angels, to which he was traded in the offseason after spending two years with the Dodgers.

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