With the joyous news that Frank McCourt's toxic reign at Chavez Ravine will soon be ending, it is easy for fans to forget that the Dodgers still have a flawed, punchless lineup outside of MVP-candidate Matt Kemp. Today Los Angeles took a baby step toward fixing that problem, as the team announced that they have signed outfielder Juan Rivera to a one-year contract.
The move not only provides a decent bat to help out Matt Kemp, but also does not lock the team into a long term deal.
Short contracts are particularly important for LA at this time because the franchise is looking to attract a potential new owner.
Rivera was originally obtained from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for cash considerations on July 12, 2011. He quickly made an impact, serving as a catalyst for the Dodgers’ second-half success as the club went 41-28 after the All-Star break with Rivera batting .274 and driving in 46 runs.
A versatile player, Rivera played 32 game in left field, 17 at first base, and 13 in right field.
“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. “He is capable of playing three positions and his production against left-handed pitchers gives the club added balance.”
Rivera is a career .289 hitter against left-handers and in 2011, he batted .289 with a .349 OBP and a .456 slugging percentage for an .805 OPS against left-handed pitching.
His 46 RBI after the All-Star break were tied for ninth in the National League over that time, trailing just Kemp (59), Ryan Braun (49), Albert Pujols (49), Prince Fielder (48), Troy Tulowitzki (48), Dan Uggla (48), Joey Votto (48) and Alfonso Soriano (47).
Rivera owns a career batting average of .277 to go along with a lifetime slugging percentage of .449.
By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald