Thursday, November 3, 2011
Juan Rivera signs deal with Dodgers
By Jerry Crasnick
The Los Angeles Dodgers signed outfielder Juan Rivera to a one-year deal, the team announced Thursday.
"Juan proved to be a valuable addition to our lineup last season both in terms of his versatility and run production," said general manager Ned Colletti in a statement. "He is capable of playing three positions and his production against left-handed pitchers gives the club added balance."
Rivera will make $4 million in 2012, and the deal has a $500,000 buyout, so the total guaranteed is $4.5 million, according to a source.
The Dodgers have a $4 million option for 2013, the source said. If they exercise it, the deal would cover two years and be worth $8 million.
The contract also includes $500,000 in incentives each year, so Rivera could potentially make $9 million over two years, according to the source.
The Dodgers acquired Rivera from the Toronto Blue Jays on the morning of this year's All-Star Game. He hit .274 with five home runs and 46 RBIs the rest of the season and provided valuable protection in the lineup for National League MVP candidate Matt Kemp.
By re-signing Rivera, the Dodgers quickly solved two major issues heading into 2012.
First, they have a fixture in left field, a position that often was in flux in 2011 before Rivera's arrival, and also possess a guy who can play first base if manager Don Mattingly chooses to rest James Loney against certain left-handed pitchers. Second, Rivera will continue to provide a middle-of-the-order offensive threat so teams can't simply pitch around Kemp.
Rivera, 33, is a .277 career hitter in 11 big league seasons. He was in the final season of a three-year, $12.75 million contract, and the Blue Jays paid the vast majority of his $5.25 million salary for 2011.
Senior writer Jerry Crasnick covers MLB for ESPN.com. Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Tony Jackson was used in this report.