Angels acquire backup catcher Butera from Dodgers

Halos land strong defensive backstop for player to be named or cash

Angels acquire backup catcher Butera from Dodgers

SAN DIEGO -- The Angels acquired veteran catcher Drew Butera from the Dodgers for a player to be named or cash considerations on Tuesday, addressing their need for depth behind the plate on the second day of the Winter Meetings.

Butera, 31, will compete with Carlos Perez, Jackson Williams and Jett Bandy for the backup job behind Chris Iannetta, but unlike the other three players, Butera can't be optioned to the Minor Leagues.

"Some combination of Drew Butera and that group of three guys are going to make up the games in the big leagues that Chris does not catch for us," Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said, "and we feel comfortable with that."

Butera has posted a .183/.239/.268 slash line while appearing in 251 games in the Majors from 2010-14, a span that saw the Orlando, Fla., product mostly serve as a backup for the Twins and Dodgers. During that time, Butera -- designated for assignment when the Dodgers claimed Ryan Lavarnway off waivers -- has thrown out 33 percent of would-be basestealers.

"[Butera's] defensive skill set is awesome," Dipoto said. "He can really catch, can really throw, calls a good game, has the experience of being with good teams, catching good pitching staffs. He has a tremendous defensive reputation that certainly outdistances his offensive reputation, but we feel like he's a nice fit for us."

With Butera acquired and the left-handed-hitting Marc Krauss claimed off waivers from the Astros on Monday, Dipoto's only glaring need is a backup infielder. The Angels' GM remains interested in re-signing Gordon Beckham and has had dialogue with several teams about acquiring an optionable middle infielder, perhaps in exchange for one of his right-handed relievers.

Signing Beckham and trading for an infielder "don't have to be mutually exclusive," Dipoto said, given the Angels' need for organizational infield depth.

"We're on the lookout," Dipoto added. "We're still actively discussing possibilities that line up for us in the Rule 5 Draft, and we've talked to a variety of teams regarding trades for that type of player. In the meantime, we'll just keep our ears to the street."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.