While with the Athletics, Butler struggled to produce at the level he once did during his days with the Kansas City Royals.
This season, the 30-year-old Butler has posted a .276/.331/.403 slash line over 85 games. Hitting just four home runs and driving in 31, Butler has been worth -0.5 fWAR.
Not to mention, Butler was involved in a clubhouse altercation with third baseman Danny Valencia a few weeks ago, resulting in a concussion. General manager David Forst said, though, that this had nothing to do with his release.
Butler signed a three-year, $30 million deal with the Athletics in 2014 and still has a year left on his contract. Because all baseball contracts are fully guaranteed, Oakland will still owe Butler the $11.67 million he was set to make next year.
In his two seasons with the Athletics, Butler hit for a .719 OPS (99 OPS+) with 19 home runs and 96 RBI over 843 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, he was worth a -1.2 fWAR during this timeframe.