Dodgers Sign Juan Rivera

The Dodgers have announced a new one-year contract with Juan Rivera. The deal, which is pending a physical, would guarantee the outfielder $4.5MM.  It includes a $4MM salary in 2012 and a $4MM club option for 2013, with a $500K buyout. The Dodgers and Rivera's representatives at Proformance were closing in on a deal earlier in the week.

Rivera joined the Dodgers when the Blue Jays sent him to Los Angeles for a player to be named later in July. The 33-year-old posted a combined line of .258/.319/.382 with 11 homers and 23 doubles for the Blue Jays and Dodgers in 2011, his 11th season in the Major Leagues. 

Rivera has produced against left-handed pitching over the course of his career (.830 OPS) and 2011 was no exception (.805 OPS). He played left field, right field and first base for the Dodgers and will likely play a similar role in 2012. He was not a ranked free agent, so the Dodgers could not have obtained compensation for losing him via free agency.

Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports was the first to break the news of the agreement, and the contract details were added by's Jerry Crasnick (both Twitter links).

74 Responses to Dodgers Sign Juan Rivera Leave a Reply

  1. ugh… the day cannot come soon enough when the new owner comes in and removes this tumor of a GM.

  2. Boy, Colletti might be the best at overpaying for bottom of the barrel talent.  Did anyone have Rivera getting this much?

    • mattinglyfan 4 years ago

      He’s also pretty good at trading away young talent. Carlos Santana waves hello from Cleveland.

  3. This is a lot of money to give to a player that was below replacement level last season and over the course of 11 seasons has a total WAR of 3.3.

  4. nestleraisinets 4 years ago

    it couldn’t be worse than a Vernon Wells right?

  5. monkeydung 4 years ago

    three gold gloves, a silver slugger, a team up for sale, and then rivera at $4.5 MM – which one of these doesn’t belong in “overall this was a pretty great week for dodgers fans”

    • hrbomber1113 4 years ago

      The 3 gold gloves don’t belong Kemp and Ethier are below average fielders. Kemp won his with is bat and I have no clue why everyone thinks Ethier is so special. The guy can’t hit lefties, stay healthy or field well. He’s topped 3 WAR ONCE….

      • BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

        Yeah, the big dummy broke his finger. Who’d want a player like that?

        • hrbomber1113 4 years ago

          I didn’t say it was his fault he got injured, but he hasn’t topped 140 games either of the last two years because of injuries. Not to mention he’s completely unusable against lefties and has hit .215/.279/.329 against them in the last 3 years and is miserable in the field. I didn’t say nobody would want him, i said he isn’t special.

          • BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

            Broken finger and bad knee. The first injury is not indicative of anything but bad luck. The second, we’ll see if it turns out to be chronic or a one-time event. Still too soon to say. As for his fielding, it seems the managers and coaches seriously disagree with your assessment. I’ll go with their judgement.

          • Yeah, because managers and coaches have been incredible at grading fielders in the past, giving a GG to Rafael Palmeiro for his stellar 28-game stint at 1B back in 1999. Trust me, they’ve gotten no better since then.


          • BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

            Yeah, incredible. That was the argument I was making. Or maybe it was infallible. I forget.

          • hrbomber1113 4 years ago

            No it wasn’t!!!! The argument you were making was despite scouts and defensive data showing Ethier is a poor defender you’re going to just agree with whatever the Gold Gloves say. His argument was the same as mine. The GG’s are a joke and the worst case was clearly Palmeiro in 99 but they do it EVERY YEAR.

          • BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

            No, I said if I have a choice between the judgements of baseball managers and coaches or some guy on the net, I’ll go with the people who spend their lifetimes playing the game, thank you very much.

          • hrbomber1113 4 years ago

            I really shouldn’t reply if these are really your arguments..I mean if you’re so biased that you just ignore cold hard facts or know so little about baseball that you take Gold Gloves seriously, I could never win this argument with you. All injuries are bad luck. In 3 out of his 5 full seasons Ethier has missed at least 21 games. And since the managers and coaches voted Rafael Palmeiro the 1B Gold Glove winner in 1999 after playing in a GRAND TOTAL OF 28 GAMES at 1B that year and routinely are awful with their voting, that it seems that’s why your assessment matches theirs…both are biased and wrong.

          • BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

            I think you should have gone with your first instinct, since you talked yourself into a deep hole with the rest of it. In essence you are saying that baseball managers and coaches don’t know half as much about baseball as you do. Your “proof” of this ridiculous assertion is one example. Well done.

          • hrbomber1113 4 years ago

            No, but they don’t know half as much as I do when it comes to if Ethier is a good defender, apparently. And AS I SAID they are biased and not impartial. Most GG’s are won because of offense and the history of GG voting is an absolute JOKE. When you use one of the least accurate awards as your entire argument and have no way to refute all the evidence I’ve shown in this thread about Ethier then you’re just a blind fan standing up for a player on your team and you don’t know enough about baseball to get into a legitimate debate about his skills and value.

          • BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

            IOW, you should be a manager or a coach. Those other guys are faking it. If so I got what you meant the first time.

      • monkeydung 4 years ago

        Ethier was third in UZR for NL right fielders and had zero errors. Still might not have deserved it but not at all as overrated ad people are saying.

        • hrbomber1113 4 years ago

          You’re very biased as a Dodgers fan. Not to mention using errors for an outfielder…not the best argument. And we all know UZR isn’t perfect and can fluctuate wildly for a year and it should be looked at in a 3-4 year period. These are his UZR totals in RF the last 4 years:


          Which one of those doesn’t match? Especially since he was fighting a knee injury all year.

          A miserable defender who can’t hit lefties AT ALL and is injury prone is a flawed player who should be platooned.

          • monkeydung 4 years ago

            did he win the gold glove for 08-10? i’m not sure where you’re going with this.

          • Not saying I agree or disagree, but I think he’s saying the 2011 UZR figure appears flukey and unreliable when compared against the greater body of work.

          • BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

            Straight down the statistical toilet, if you ask me. The really funny part about fans quoting stats like UZR with such great authority is that they can’t possibly know what the stat means because the stat is completely proprietary, in both the source data and the computation. Yet the believers still believe. OTOH, the managers and the coaches who watch these players work, day in and day out for six months — they don’t know spit.

          • On the other hand, your argument is very poor.

            If only the managers actually saw the players play day-in and day-out for six months…Ethier played 6 games against St. Louis, and 7 games against Atlanta. Do those 6 or 7 games give La Russa or Gonzalez enough evidence to see whether or not Ethier deserves an award for his fielding?? Of course not.

            But I’m sure all the statisticians are trying to hoodwink the populace, altering statistics so that the players they like best (who are??) have the best defensive statistics. This opinion is absolutely airtight and beyond reproach, because we as mere peasants are obviously subject to being willfully ignorant of the inaccuracies found in the information we’re being given.


          • BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

            Try reading what I wrote. It really helps.

          • Remarkably, it’s still the same tripe I read the first time…do you have a point of contention you’d like to address, or are you just admitting defeat through non-argument of my points addressed??


          • BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

            No, I am simply pointing that you are avoiding responding to what I actually wrote.

          • You wrote that the managers don’t know spit, sarcastically. I countered with the fact that managers cannot possibly see each player often enough to accurately gauge how good or bad an individual fielder is, as the sample size available to them is incredibly small. It’s not like they can go home and watch each team play every game. There’s not enough hours in the day.

            You said we can’t possibly know what UZR means, but that’s B.S. There’s plenty of transparency there. Is the data proprietary?? Sure, but it’s also for sale. If you want the source data, go buy it from BIS. The creators of UZR have provided more than enough information about how the data is computed and how it should be interpreted. They’ve gone as far as to describe in detail the system’s flaws, which are far fewer and smaller in magnitude than grading defense with your eyes over the course of a handfull of games per season.

            UZR isn’t some boogeyman that should be regarded with undue skepticism, and it’s not toilet-worthy. If you haven’t taken the time to read up on it and figure it out for yourself, that’s not our problem.


          • BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

            I have read up on it, and I have studied it. It’s black box data.

          • Then I suggest you read more. There’s a whole interweb full of information about UZR, and it’s really not that difficult to discern.


          • BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

            Do you even know what “discern” means? I discern UZR as the black box stat that it is. In fact it’s worse than an ordinary black box, because a black box implies that you know what goes into it even if you don’t know what goes on inside. In this case both the data in and the analytical process are secret. If you understood statistics better you’d know why stats like UZR are a problem.

          • hrbomber1113 4 years ago

            You know if the coaches said Ethier sucked and UZR said he was great he’d just be quoting us UZR all day. Give it up BlueSkyLA…Ethier is not that good.

          • hrbomber1113 4 years ago

            You’re not a big fan of reading comprehension are you? I already said UZR can fluctuate wildly and be off for a year so it’s common knowledge, or so I thought, that you use a 3 or more year sample to judge their fielding ability. People don’t just randomly go from one of the worst fielders to well above average one year to the next. Check out Derek Jeter’s UZR since ’05


            Did he magically become a really good fielder in 2009 and then magically go back to being bad? No. Just like Ethier didn’t. Try to actually read what I say before attempting a snarky comment. But hey, you used errors to explain how good of a fielder he is so i don’t expect much. Players do not legitimately jump from -16.5 to 5.3 especially when playing through a knee injury.

          • Not one Dodger fan who knows what they are talking about would say Dre is a elite GG defender.. Jesus, most of us wanted the OF defense moved around/ Dre to LF and Kemp to RF

  6. Steven D 4 years ago

    I know Juan Rivera can hit some but yikes, that much for a guy at the back end of his career? 

  7. burgh_fan 4 years ago

    I was thinking he would be a good fit for the Pirates as a platoon partner with Garrett Jones at 1B but I didn’t expect him to receive that much. Glad the Dodgers kept him.

  8. IdontknowwhyIpostonforums 4 years ago

    While I am not totally opposed to the signing, I would have liked to have Colletti wait and see what else materializes.  Maybe this is the best the Dodgers are going to get, but I doubt Rivera is in such demand that his price is going to rise or that he is going to get snatched up by another team. 

    • BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

      Hard to say, but the outfield was definitely stabilized when Rivera arrived last year and he gave Don some needed flexibility in the lineup. But with all the pointless moaning about how much Rivera is getting, being overlooked is what this might mean for the rest of the team. I think it signals that Loney will be tendered and Sands will spend most of 2012 in AAA. It also increased the odds that a defensive specialist such as Gwynn will be signed (or in his case, tendered a contract). Also being lost in this discussion is the fact that the team played well in the last month or so of the season, even without Ethier, so we could do a lot worse in this transition year than bringing that team back without a lot of changes.

      • IdontknowwhyIpostonforums 4 years ago

        I agree we could do a lot worse.  The money is really not that big of an issue, he can play the corner OF well enough to spell Ethier (whether for rest or injury) and whoever is the full timer in left (I do hope it is not Rivera) and can give Loney a break at first, especially if he starts slumping.  I only question the timing and that is not really that big of a deal.

        It is funny how this is seen as another “bad move” by Colletti.  He could sign Pujols and people would still find reason to complain.

        • Amish_willy 4 years ago

          There’s a solid article up on fangraphs that makes a great case why this is a questionable move with an emphasis on the timing, Rivera’s decline, and a salary that doesn’t seem warranted, not to mention side affects.
          Doubt he would have gotten more then 1/2.5m from another team. Guaranteeing 4.5m to a backup that isn’t an above-average bat for the position, quite the opposite the past two years, who is also a poor defender doesn’t warrant any sort of applause. That said, the signing isn’t anywhere near one of Coletti’s worse, but it’s mediocre. Seems like he flushed a million or two down the toilet just because he could.

          • IdontknowwhyIpostonforums 4 years ago

            Thanks for the article.

            I think a lot of Colletti’s moves tend to stem from a unfounded sense of urgency, be it timing or positional need.  Juan Uribe falls into this category as well (not to mention other worse categories).

            We will see how this goes.  It is only one year and it is not like this is going to break the Dodgers financially or otherwise. So… lets go get a real bat and another arm!

          • BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

            This article is typical of Fangraphs. They blow by a lot of stats but don’t ask more fundamental baseball questions, like how the player fits into a particular roster. The Dodgers simply do not have a guaranteed corner outfielder at this point, period. Ethier is coming off surgery. He might be okay for 2012 or he might not. Presumably management believes that Sands is not ready. Loney they can only hope has revived at the plate overall, and as everyone knows, he’s had problems hitting lefties. Then there’s the issue of a right-handed bench bat. So, how many players can fill all those requirements? The answer to that question cannot be achieved by quoting WAR or wOBA numbers.

          • He fits the team’s needs, so it’s okay to overspend by about $3.5MM??


          • You know what?? I’m going to take this back…

            I skimmed it as a $4.5MM contract. It’s only $4MM, so the overspend is only $3MM.


          • Amish_willy 4 years ago

            It is 4.5m when you include his 500K buyout for 2013 to the equation. But yeah, dude got a very nice contract considering he’s a guy coming off a so-so season, dealt last year as a sunk cost by the Angels and then dealt to the Dodgers for the extremely valuable PTNL/Cash. 

          • Amish_willy 4 years ago

            Your stance of Rivera filling a unique role that only he could acheive for the 2012 Dodgers is admirable. A right-handed C OF isn’t a terribly rare piece to the puzzle, particularly one that brings to the table what Rivera does, which isn’t a terrible lot regardless of how one fan perceives him. When numerous guys of similar quality sign for much less, some (me) would think they might just be better off with someone else while using that extra cash on something valuable like going over slot on one of their early round draft picks or other roster pieces.

            Free agents like Rivera typically aren’t amongst the first ones sign, there’s a reason for that, they’re not terribly special. Coletti could have gotten much more bang for his buck with a little patience.

            Personally I thought the Fangraphs article did a good job pointing out the obvious, which if you read other posters comments on the signing, many seem to agree with.

          • BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

            I got through your first sentence and bailed. If you want to discuss anything with me you will have to pay attention to what I actually say.

          • Yankees420 4 years ago

            You’re a stubborn one, aren’t you?  Anyway, while you never explicitly said “Rivera fills a unique position on the Dodgers 2012 roster” you did dismiss that Fangraphs article because it didn’t “ask more fundamental baseball questions, like how the player fits into a particular roster.”  So, considering the article is talking about Rivera specifically I think it’s safe to infer that you are of the position that Rivera does in fact fill a unique position on the Dodgers.  Which makes me wonder why you decided to read only Amish_willy’s first sentence?  Especially since he seemed to be complementing your fandom.  Regardless, the point remains that Rivera will be overpaid for 2012 (albeit, by about 2MM) if he continues to put up numbers in line with his career; and that Ned could have, and probably should have, waited to let the market develop because RH bench bats that can play corner OF and 1B as well as hit lefties decently aren’t hard to find. 

          • BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

            Yeah, I’m totally stubborn about having people respond to what I actually say instead of some alternate version of their own creation. You don’t have to read anything into what I write. I say what I mean.

          • Amish_willy 4 years ago

            Rivera “stabilized” the Dodgers OF with a .740 OPS. A lot of people weren’t thrilled with Coletti going with a Thames/Gwynn LF at the start of the year, so maybe your right in that Rivera “stabilized” the OF, despite the below average LF production, but isn’t that in relation to the poor construction of that one position rather then anything all that great on Rivera’s part?

            People are questioning why a guy that has hit .255/.316/.395 the last TWO years would get this kind of contract. Why not aim a little higher?? For what its worth I think you and Coletti are on the the same page and I appreciate the peek into his rationale.

          • BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

            I can’t say whether I’m on the same page as Colletti. I am saying only that I get the baseball reasoning behind bringing Rivera back. I’d also say that management must feel that his last couple of months with the Dodgers is more representative of his abilities than the slump he was in before. Since his plate performance with the Dodgers was near his career averages I can see why they might have that belief. Sure, I’d like to see the team aim higher but I have realistic expectations in this transition season.

          • Unfortunately, nothing you say carries any sort of substance.


          • BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

            The weakest possible excuse for a total non-response.

  9. Joey E 4 years ago

    it’s as simple as no other team gives him close to this. they all probably max out at 2M. Ned is terrible
    his slash like with the dodgers was decent. .274/.333/.406
    Ned gave him the money because he had a ton of rbi (46 in 62 games) and he hit in neds mind, a solid .274

    ned always does this. last year when he signed uribe he kept mentioning RBI because uribe had a career year. even last month when talking about uribe, he just said “we’re expecting 60 or so rbi” something like that

    what a joke GM. it’s really terrible that he’s still a major league GM

    • Amish_willy 4 years ago

      I guess Coletti was really afraid of Rivera signing elsewhere, which is pretty comical. A guy like Scott Hairston will likely sign for less then half as much as a Rivera got. Not that I’m surprised.   

    • shhhh. BlueSkyLa is gonna get you

  10. monroe_says 4 years ago

    so much for the idea that there are no bad one year deals.

  11. nwh2787 4 years ago

    Yeah I thought Juan Rivera was  surprise signing. I mean the Dodgers are trying to move on from the McCourt Era, but Colletti for some reason is still stuck there. I think they signed Rivera as precautionary though due to what is going on with the McCourt drama. So its a 50/50 signing but I think they should have a little more confidence in there young players.

  12. sourbob 4 years ago

    I can’t help but think this would be a better deal if Rivera was good at baseball.

  13. The bottom line is that 4.5 million is twice as much as anybody else was likely to offer him, yet Ned wastes no time to rush and sign him for almost as much he made last year, a season where he was DFA’d by Toronto. Was there any negotiation at all?

  14. Here is the transcript from Dodgers-Rivera Negotiations:

    Juan’s Agent: “Our client is asking for a one or two year deal in the neighborhood of 2 million per year”

    Ned Coletti: “Double it, and we have a deal”

    Juan’s Agent: “DONE”

    • IdontknowwhyIpostonforums 4 years ago

      I don’t know exactly why, but this made me laugh.  I think I was picturing Ned’s ‘stache wiggling with glee when he “said” that.

  15. toomanyhatz 4 years ago

    I’m happy Rivera’s back with the team- I think he’ll be a great platoon 1B/OF against lefties, and a valuable pinch hitter- but couldn’t he have been had for half as much?  I guess we’ll never know.  Please sign Gwynn and then WE’RE DONE with the outfield.

  16. toomanyhatz 4 years ago

    And preferably not for 3 yrs, $10mil, please thx.

  17. 4.5 mil is too much for a platoon player and one that can’t play defense

  18. 4.5 mil is too much for a platoon player and one that can’t play defense

  19. 4.5 mil is too much for a platoon player and one that can’t play defense

  20. Marcus Thames is one hell of a hitter against LHP and look how well that turned out at $1 million. Colletti has just amplified that mistake by 4.5 times.

  21. .805 OPS is okay against lefties, nothing more.

  22. 6-7 billionaires looking into buying the Dodgers just collectively went “Damnit!”.

  23. ThinkBlue10 4 years ago

    No we don’t. We have Javy Guerra.

  24. JacobyWanKenobi 4 years ago

    I really want Mark Cuban to swoop in and do something fun. At the very least he can brainwash LA to give the Mavs home court on the road. 😀 I’m pretty sure he won’t offer unless the price drops to under 1Billion.

  25. thegrayrace 4 years ago

    And Kenley Jansen, who put up a 16.1 SO/9. That is just ridiculous. 5.0 H/9 and 0.5 HR/9.

    Guerra is good, but the league will adjust to him. His stuff just isn’t as dominant as Jansen’s. Guerra will make a solid setup man, but I see Jansen as the future closer.

    Lindblom, Elbert and Tolleson all have closer potential, too. The bullpen is one area the Dodgers future looks bright.

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