Butler waits until the last minute, but ultimately finds a new home at St Kilda

Before 2017, few knew of Dan Butler. Picked up late in the 2014 AFL Draft, to most outsiders Butler was a player that was on limited time in the AFL. In fact, in 2016 Butler was nearly delisted from the Tigers.

Thankfully, they held onto him, and he repaid them with a stellar 2017 season. You know, that 2017 season – where the Tigers lifted the cup at the end.

However, Butler was eventually passed in the pecking order. Come this offseason, he was deemed expendable.


Butler’s PAPLEY may undersell his potential a little – not getting on the park for the premiers is a knock most players will wear. Especially after winning one. Butler had a respectable season in the VFL, and was sniffed out by most clubs.

The trade

It’s rare that a player goes for almost exactly their fair value, but this is what it looks like here.

Butler will likely slot immediately into a Saints forward setup that needs players with a natural goal sense. The Tigers will miss him a little, and pick 56 will probably not contribute right away.

But they don’t really need it to. They just won the flag. Generally, when you win a flag you have to shed players – the skill is making sure it is the right ones, so you can still contend next year.

Verdict: A fair trade.

Note: This article is part of a series using a valuation method called Player Approximate Value (PAV) to evaluate trades for fairness and balance. Elsewhere, you can read much more about the method and theory behind PAVYou can also read about PAPLEY, the projection method used to derive expected future PAVs, which has been revised for 2019.

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