Juan Rivera is in a tough place – he doesn’t have an opportunity to prove he can be a healthy and effective outfielder despite heading into his contract year. He’s been very respectful to the Angels about his situation though. Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times recently speculated that Rivera would have a starting role on teams like the Braves, Mets, or Giants. Rivera’s best year was ’06, when he hit .310/.362/.525 in 124 games. But then Rivera broke his leg in winter ball in December of that year and it’s been a long time coming back. Ken Rosenthal suggested Sunday that Reggie Willits was not available but the Angels want to trade Rivera.
Yesterday evening, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said the following regarding Rivera:
After talking to a couple of people today, I think there’s something to the Juan Rivera thing. I believe the Braves do have interest, just not sure if there’s a match….
Rivera would be a nice addition for Atlanta, though Matt Diaz deserves his shot in left field. But Rivera could also push out Scott Thorman and serve as Mark Teixeira‘s backup.