As expected, the Dodgers have designated Marcus Thames for assignment. Thames was hitting just .197/.243/.333 this season, and hasn't been able to play left field lately with a sore calf. However, Thames' replacement wasn't expected, as the Dodgers have acquired former Angel Juan Rivera from the Blue Jays for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Rivera was designated for assignment by Toronto last week.
One would expect a team in bankruptcy to not be able to take on much salary, which makes the acquisition of a player making $5.25 million this season perplexing. Especially when that team is 11 games out of a playoff spot. Beginning tomorrow, there are 79 days left in the season, meaning Rivera is owed roughly $2,266,393.
The 33-year old Rivera is hitting .243/.305/.360 this season, and has hit lefties to the tune of .327/.400/.509, so he is an upgrade over Thames, especially considering Rivera is physically able to play the field. Dodgers left fielders have hit .213/.305/.313 with two home runs. Rivera has also started 20 games at first base this season, so at the very least gives the Dodgers another viable option to bench James Loney against southpaws.
Without knowing how much cash is coming from Toronto in the transaction, it's hard to fully judge the deal. But it does seem kind of pointless, at least at first glance, and delusional at worst.
UPDATE: Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun says the Dodgers are paying "roughly $175,000" of Rivera's remaining salary, with the Blue Jays paying up the rest. The prorated minimum salary ($414,000) over 79 days is $178,721.