But Butterfield preserved, and his return was a welcomed one from both sides.
"It's fun," he said. "There's a lot of good people here in Toronto. [It's] good to get back."
Butterfield was in the running for the Blue Jays' managerial position before John Gibbons was rehired, but the former Toronto coach had nothing but high praise for the team's skipper.
"It's a great choice," Butterfield said, "He's a great baseball man and even better man. So, they did hire the right guy and I'm glad that he got it."
Butterfield, who coached alongside Gibbons in the latter's first stint as manager, would love a chance to manage one day.
"If anybody ever thinks enough of me to go in there as a manager, then I would gladly jump at the opportunity," Butterfield said.
As for leaving Toronto, it was merely a matter of opportunity and the job security that went along with it.
"In Major League Baseball, especially as a coach, you aren't afforded the luxury of spending a lot of time weighing your options. You better not wait when a good opportunity [arises]," Butterfield said.
"I love coaching; if that's all it is for the rest of my career until they take the uniform off me, then I'll gladly do that."
Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. Associate reporter Evan Peaslee contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.