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Yankees add veteran catcher Rivera to compete for backup job

Dec 22, 2009, 3:54 PM EDT

Francisco Cervelli is seemingly the favorite to replace free agent Jose Molina as Jorge Posada’s backup, but the Yankees have brought in some veteran competition in the form of Mike Rivera.
Rivera spent last season backing up Jason Kendall in Milwaukee, drawing a grand total of just 31 starts while hitting .228/.326/.346. He’s shown more pop than that in the past, hitting .276/.338/.465 with nine homers and 14 doubles in 242 plate appearances from 2006-2008, and also averaged 26 homers per 500 at-bats in various stints at Triple-A.
He’s also 33 years old and not especially strong defensively, which is why Rivera could manage only a minor-league deal and Cervelli remains the favorite to be Posada’s caddy in 2010. Cervelli held his own in 101 plate appearances with the Yankees last season, hitting .298/.309/.372 as a 23-year-old rookie, and projects as a solid on-base threat after hitting .273/.367/.380 in the minors.

  1. Jason @ IIATMS - Dec 22, 2009 at 4:20 PM

    A younger Jose Molina with lesser defensive skills. Great.
    Four of the Yanks Top 10 prospects (per BA) were catchers. Couldn’t one of these guys, or Cervelli be good enough to best this guy?

  2. Stultus Magnus - Dec 22, 2009 at 4:55 PM

    Cervelli’s fun, but has zero power. Rivera will be decent insurance if Cervelli goes down or if Posada misses a few weeks with an injury.
    In any case, if Posada misses significant time, it doesn’t matter if Cervelli or Rivera is catching.

  3. Peter S. - Jan 10, 2010 at 1:53 AM

    Was very happy to find this website.I would like to thank you for this nice read!! I obviously glad every little bit of it and I have bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

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