Juan Rivera signs minor league deal with Yankees

Justin Edmonds

Rivera, who made $4 million with the Dodgers in 2012 plus another $500,000 to buyout his 2013 club option, signed a minor league contract to join New York.

Juan Rivera did not find this offseason as rewarding as last, as the outfielder and first baseman has signed a minor league deal with the Yankees, per Andrew Marchand at ESPN New York. It is the second minor league deal signed by a Dodger free agent in the last week, joining Tampa-bound Jamey Wright.

Rivera was not very good for the Dodgers in 2012, as he hit .244/.286/.375 with nine home runs in 109 games, splitting time between the outfield and first base. He started 39 games at first base, 35 games in left field, five games in right field, and once at designated hitter for the Dodgers in 2012.

In many ways Rivera like Marlon Anderson and Ronnie Belliard, late season acquisitions who cratered after making a positive initial first impression with the Dodgers. Though Rivera didn't quite have the magic in his bat that Anderson (in 2006) and Belliard (in 2009) had, he did perform well in 2011 for the Dodgers, who were starving for production at both first base and left field.

The Dodgers picked Rivera up off the scrap heap at the All-Star break in 2011 after he was designated for assignment, and Rivera hit .274/.333/.406 with five home runs in 62 games for the Dodgers. He also drove in 46 runs in those 62 games, a number Rivera struggled to barely match in 2012.

Those initial 2½ months with the Dodgers were enough to convince general manager Ned Colletti to guarantee Rivera $4.5 million, which included $500,000 to buyout Rivera's 2013 club option, which would paid Rivera another $4 million.

What a difference a year makes.

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