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New York Mets reportedly express interest in Team Italy catcher Drew Butera

According to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, the New York Mets have reached out to 36-year-old MLB veteran Drew Butera in an effort to extend depth at the catcher position. Originally selected by the New York Mets in the fifth round of the 2005 amateur draft out of the University of Central Florida (UCF), Drew Butera began his professional career with the Brooklyn Cyclones and played as high as Double-A ball in the Mets organization before moving over to the Minnesota Twins at the 2007 trade deadline.

Team Italy catcher Drew Butera is the son of former major league catcher Sal Butera, who served as a coach for Team Italy in 2017 World Baseball Classic. Drew Butera was the fifth catcher in MLB history to catch a no-hitter in both the American League (Francisco Liriano/Minnesota Twins, 2011) and the National League (Josh Beckett/Los Angeles Dodgers, 2014). Known as a pitcher’s catcher for his ability to call a great game behind the plate and keeping his pitching staff under control, Drew Butera was honored by Clayton Kershaw publicly after winning one of his Cy Young Awards. He has since played for the Los Angeles Angels, Kansas City Royals and Colorado Rockies

Drew Butera was recently inducted into the University of Central Florida Athletic Hall of Fame. By throwing out 63 would-be base stealers during his collegiate career from 2003-2005, Drew Butera is the UCF career record-holder in runners caught stealing. Drew Butera spent most of last season playing for Colorado Rockies Triple-A affiliate Albuquerque Isotopes, where he registered a respectable .300 batting average while playing in 67 games. He also played in 16 MLB games for the Colorado Rockies in September.

Drew Butera is a strong supporter of the Italian American Baseball Foundation (IABF), and he is expected to attend the upcoming IABF Gala Dinner with Guest of Honor Joe Girardi on December 4, 2019 at Giando on the Water in Brooklyn, New York. Other invited guests include past and present Team Italy players John FrancoAdam OttavinoJason Grilli, Frank Menechino, Francisco Cervelli, and Brandon NimmoTeam Italy coach Frank Catalanotto is slated to receive the 2019 IABF Achievement Award, while MLB Network's Natalie M. Spedaliere will be crowned 2019 IABF Executive of the Year. Other Italian American luminaries anticipated to participate include Lee Mazzilli, Bobby Valentine, Carl Pavano, Mike Pagliarulo, and Mike Ford. Limited tickets are available HERE. Forza #Italia!

by Roberto Angotti

Colorado Rockies catcher Drew Butera inducted into University of Central Florida Athletics Hall of Fame