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Yankees sign Juan Rivera to minor league deal

Jan 28, 2013, 5:17 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates v Los Angeles Dodgers Getty Images

Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York reports that the Yankees have signed veteran outfielder Juan Rivera to a minor-league deal, bringing him in as a potential right-handed bench bat.

Last offseason Rivera got $4 million in guaranteed money from the Dodgers, who ended up buying out his 2013 option for $500,000 after he hit just .244 with nine homers and a .661 OPS in 109 games.

Once upon a time Rivera was a decent regular who thrived against left-handed pitching, but he’s always been sub par defensively and has never fared particularly well versus right-handers. And in the past three seasons he hit just .270 with a .763 OPS against lefties, so at age 34 it’s not even clear he’s a good part-time option considering the Yankees also have Matt Diaz and Russ Canzler to fill the same role.

  1. dondada10 - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    I don’t think he’ll break camp with them, but if he’s willing to play some AAA ball, it’s a good signing for the Yanks.

    The Yankees are having a very un-Yankee like off-season.

  2. uyf1950 - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    On a minor league deal hes not a bad possibility for the Yankees. Potentially a low risk high reward option. I like it.

    • cackalackyank - Jan 28, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      Potentially a repeat of NYY stellar 2008 playoff miss, too.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 28, 2013 at 9:27 PM

        Let’s face it: the Yankees had a lot less work to do than most other clubs this off-season. It is funny how they get roasted when they go out and sign big free agents, and they get roasted when they don’t.

        Oh well. I suppose that is the burden of being the best team in baseball over such a long period of time.

  3. losanginsight - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    The Yanks big offseason signing was Juan Rivera? I think the Dodgers should lend NY some money or else they won’t have enough players to field a decent team.

  4. rickset - Jan 28, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    didn’t he steal Jeter’s glove at some point?

  5. pisano - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    No harm, no foul in signing Rivera, but am I alone in thinking third place for the Yankees? I hope I’m wrong!

  6. genericcommenter - Jan 29, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    Well, some people were pretty happy with the low-risk Ibanez deal last year. He also, could not play defense, was coming off a worse season (.707!), and was 5 years older.

    Actually, now that I checked, Ibanez was worse than this guy THIS past season. Pretty sure I’d rather have the 34 year-old .760 non-fielding OF on a Minor League deal than the $2.75 Million 40 year-old .760 non-fielder.

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