Another ex-Dodger has moved on. Juan Rivera, who made a cool $4 million with the Dodgers last season, has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the New York Yankees. Rivera also collected an additional half million from the Dodgers after they chose to buyout his option for 2013.
Rivera may actually get some decent time in the New York outfield since he’s a right-handed hitter. Coincidentally the Dodgers do need a back-up to Adrian Gonzalez at first as well as a back-up outfielder, but it seems that Juan Rivera was not about to win himself a spot on the 2013 Dodgers squad after his lackluster season last year.
The 34-year old was actually originally signed by the Yankees back in 1996 as an amateur free agent, so his career has gone full circle as he returns to New York. Rivera spent part of 2011 after the Dodgers picked him up from Toronto after he failed to impress the Blue Jays. In his 62 games with the Dodgers in 2011, he hit .274/.333/.406 with 5 homeruns and 46 RBI. That was good enough to earn him a much balked $4 million contract with the Dodgers the following season. In 2012, Rivera played in 109 games with the Dodgers and ended up with a line of .244/.286/.375 to our chagrin. He hit 9 homeruns, one of which will forever be cemented in my memory. The epic Loge level homerun he hit will never be forgotten. Yet the rest of his tenure with the Dodgers was largely forgettable.
Rivera is only the eighth Dodger in Dodger Stadium history to hit a Loge homerun, and it was only the twentieth Loge homerun overall. The small portion of Loge level seats which protrude into fair territory make it difficult and rare to hit a homerun in that space.
Anyone remember when Juan Rivera robbed Jordan Pacheco of a homerun in Colorado and pretended like he didn’t make the catch?
Good luck in New York, Juan.