Royals trade Butera to Rockies for minor league pitcher

The trademark Drew Butera hair flip.
Denny Medley/Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Butera — he of the hair flip and the world championship embrace with Wade Davis — is a Royal no more.

The Kansas City Royals announced Friday they have traded Butera to the Colorado Rockies for minor league left-handed pitcher Jerry Vasto, who was immediately optioned to Triple-A Omaha.

Butera will be replaced on the active roster by catcher Cam Gallagher, who was recalled from Omaha. In addition, outfielder Brian Goodwin has been reinstated from the 10-day disabled list, taking the roster spot of first baseman Lucas Duda, who was traded to Atlanta on Wednesday.

Butera, 35, will serve as a veteran backup on a Rockies team that starts play Friday 1 1/2 games behind first-place Arizona in the NL West.

Butera has backed up All-Star catcher Salvador Perez since being acquired from the Los Angeles Angels during the 2015 season. After replacing Perez, who had given way to a pinch runner, behind the plate in the 12th inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series, Butera caught Davis’ strike-three pitch to Wilmer Flores to end the game and give Kansas City its first world championship since 1985.

Butera, who was known for a healthy head of hair that he would flip to the side after removing his batting helmet upon reaching base, was hitting .188 (28 for 149) with nine doubles, two home runs and 18 RBIs in 52 games this season.

Vasto, 26, is a two-time minor league All-Star (Class A South Atlantic League in 2015, Class A-Advanced California League in 2016). He has spent most of this season with Triple-A Albuquerque, going 2-1 with a 3.16 ERA in 37 relief appearances.

The left-hander made his big-league debut June 10, pitching 2/3 of an inning vs. Arizona and allowing three runs. He was a 24th-round draft pick by the Rockies in 2014.