Rays DFA Butler to make room for Conger

Silverman says club hopes to keep outfielder in organization

Rays DFA Butler to make room for Conger

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays have designated outfielder Joey Butler for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for catcher Hank Conger, whom they acquired from the Astros for cash considerations Wednesday night.

"He did a great job for us last year," said Rays president of baseball operations Matt Silverman. "He was an offensive force for us for a good part of the year and a great teammate throughout. He's someone we'd like to keep in our organization. We'll see how the next several days pan out. But we're hopeful he stays in our organization and can be a part of it for a while."

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Butler spent most of the 2015 season in the Major Leagues, playing in 88 games (61 starts). His .344 batting average through June 15 was the highest by any Major League rookie on that date since 2001, when Albert Pujols (.354) and Ichiro Suzuki (.350) did it for the Cardinals and Mariners, respectively, en route to each winning a Rookie of the Year Award.

The Rays will head to Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings, which start Monday in Nashville, Tenn., with a full 40-man roster.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.