Billy Butler, recently released by the cellar-dwelling Oakland A's, is about to make a leap up the standings.
The 30-year-old first baseman/designated hitter signed with the New York Yankees, multiple media outlets reported Wednesday night.
In addition to producing poorly on the field this year, Butler was at the center of an ugly incident in the Oakland clubhouse. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Butler denigrated then-teammate Danny Valencia to an equipment-company representative, leading to a fight in which Valencia punched Butler in the head.
Butler wound up on the seven-day concussion disabled list, and shortly after he returned, the A's cut him loose.
In 85 games this year, Butler hit .276 with a .331 on-base percentage, a .403 slugging percentage, four home runs and 31 RBIs. He hit 15 homers for Oakland last year.
Butler spent the first eight seasons of his major league career with the Kansas City Royals, hitting a career-high 29 homers in 2012. In 1,402 games overall, he has a .289/.354/.441 batting line with 146 homers and 724 RBIs.
The Yankees were in need of another bat after placing outfielder Aaron Judge on the DL late Wednesday due to a right oblique strain.
New York (77-68) is four games behind the first-place Red Sox (81-64) in the American League East heading into a four-game series at Boston that begins Thursday. The Yankees are two games behind the Toronto Blue Jays (79-66) in the race for the second AL wild card.