Mike Rivera Rumors

Minor Moves: Rivera, Miller, Wolf, Thurston

Keeping track of the day's minor moves…

  • The Red Sox signed catcher Mike Rivera, according to the Long Island Ducks' official website.  Rivera had been playing with the independent team after being released by the Brewers during Spring Training.  The 35-year-old catcher has 605 plate appearances over nine Major League seasons, mostly with Milwaukee.
  • The Rangers released Justin Miller, Anthony Andro of FOXSportsSouthwest tweets. The right-hander has a partial tear of his right UCL.
  • The Orioles released right-hander Ross Wolf, MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli tweets. Wolf, 29, posted a 4.76 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 73 2/3 innings of relief for Houston's top affiliate last year. 
  • The Phillies released Joe Thurston, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. Thurston signed with the Phillies last month after the Astros released him late in Spring Training. The 32-year-old has a .226/.305/.323 line in 384 MLB plate appearances with the Dodgers, Phillies, Red Sox, Cardinals and Marlins. He has appeared in one MLB game since 2009.

Minor Moves: Astros, Rivera, Branyan, Igarashi

The latest minor moves from around MLB…

  • The Astros released first baseman Jimmy Van Ostrand and right-hander Lance Pendleton, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com tweets.
  • The Brewers released catcher Mike Rivera, according to the team (via media relations director Mike Vassallo on Twitter). The 35-year-old appeared in one game with the 2011 Brewers and has experience in nine MLB seasons.
  • The Yankees announced that they released Russell Branyan from his minor league contract and re-signed him to a new one. The Yankees appear to save $100K with the maneuver. 
  • The Blue Jays acquired right-hander Ryota Igarashi from the Pirates for cash considerations or a player to be named later, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports (Twitter links). Davidi suggests the Blue Jays will likely assign Igarashi to Triple-A. The 32-year-old appeared in 45 games for the 2011 Mets, posting a 4.66 ERA with 9.8 K/9 and 6.5 BB/9 in 38 2/3 innings.
  • The Phillies announced that they traded minor league first baseman Matt Rizzotti to the Twins for cash considerations today. The 26-year-old spent the 2011 season at Double-A Reading and posted a .295/.392/.511 line with 24 home runs, 34 doubles and 79 walks in 587 plate appearances. 

Minor Moves: Bianchi, Threets, Gallagher, Atilano

Here are some of the day's minor transactions…

  • The Cubs have acquired minor league infielder Jeff Bianchi on a waiver claim, the team announced.  Bianchi was designated for assignment by the Royals last week to make room for Jonathan Broxton on their 40-man roster.  Bianchi was a second-round pick for K.C. in the 2005 draft and has yet to reach the majors, though he missed close to two full seasons recovering from a torn labrum (2006) and reconstuctive elbow surgery (2010).
  • The Athletics have signed left-hander Erick Threets to a minor league deal, tweets Matthew Eddy of Baseball America.  Threets, 30, last pitched in the Majors in 2010, throwing 12.1 scoreless relief innings for the White Sox.
  • The Reds signed right-handers Luis Atilano and Sean Gallagher to minor league deals, reports Eddy.
  • The Brewers have signed catcher Mike Rivera to a minor league contract, reports MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.  The deal includes an invitation to the Brewers' big league spring training camp and is worth $500K if Rivera makes the Major League roster.  Rivera, 35, has spent five of the last six years in the Brewers' organization and will provide the club with extra catching depth.
  • The Rangers signed Alberto Gonzalez to a minor league contract with an invite to the Major League spring training camp, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.  Gonzalez was released by the Padres last month.  The utility infielder has a career .242/.281/.317 line in 908 Major League plate appearances over five seasons with the Padres, Nationals and Yankees.
  • The Yankees have designated Colin Curtis for assignment, tweets MLB.com's Bryan Hoch.  The move creates space on New York's 40-man roster for Freddy Garcia, whose signing was made official today.  Curtis, a fourth-round draft pick in 2006, has 64 Major League plate appearances to his name.

Outrighted To Triple-A: Delaney, Tomko, Boggs, Rivera

A few minor moves…

  • Rob Delaney has cleared waivers after being designated for assignment by the Rays on Wednesday and has been outrighted to Triple-A Durham, reports Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (via Twitter).
  • The Rangers outrighted Brett Tomko to Triple-A Round Rock and Tomko has accepted the assignment, reports Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (via Twitter).  Andro also tweets that Tomko has an out clause in his contract for June 1, though Andro isn't sure if Tomko plans to exercise it. In the corresponding move, Texas called up Michael Kirkman.
  • The Brewers have outrighted catcher Mike Rivera to Triple-A Nashville, reports MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.  It is expected that Rivera will accept the assignment. 
  • Also from McCalvy, Brandon Boggs has accepted his assignment to Nashville after being outrighted by the Brewers two days ago.  This is the third time Boggs has been outrighted by Milwaukee in the last three months.  Rivera and Boggs were outrighted to create roster space for Josh Wilson and Nyjer Morgan.

Brewers Sign Mike Rivera

Mike Rivera bounced between three organizations this year, but he appeared in just seven big league games and didn't collect a single hit. After unsuccessful stints with the Yankees, Dodgers and Marlins organizations, the catcher is returning to the team he knows best. The Brewers recently signed Rivera, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America.

The 34-year-old posted a .756 OPS in Milwaukee from 2006-09 as the Brewers' backup catcher. Rivera went hitless in 17 plate appearances for the Marlins this year, but the Brewers are no doubt hoping to see him hit well enough to provide insurance for Jonathan Lucroy and George Kottaras.


Odds & Ends: Halladay, Dodgers, De La Rosa

Links for Thursday, as we await another day of playoff games. It will be nearly impossible to match the show Roy Halladay put on in his playoff debut last night, but October baseball is always worth following…

  • Former Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that he was surprised not to see better offers for Halladay when the right-hander was on the market last year. "We kept sitting there saying, ‘This is Roy Freaking Halladay! Do people know?’ Not only will you have him for this year, but you’ll have him for next year."
  • Dodgers executive De Jon Watson told Tom Krasovic of AOL FanHouse that Zach Lee and James Baldwin are two farmhands to watch. The 2010 draftees are impressing their new organization with their play so far. (Baldwin, the son of former MLB pitcher James Baldwin, is an outfielder.)
  • Krasovic also says the Rockies “likely will lose” Jorge de la Rosa to free agency this winter. GM Dan O’Dowd recently said re-signing the left-hander is an offseason priority for the team.
  • The Marlins outrighted Brett Carroll, Hector Luna, Mike Rivera, Taylor Tankersley and Tim Wood, which means those five players are no longer on the team’s 40-man roster.

Marlins Sign Mike Rivera

The Marlins signed former big league catcher Mike Rivera and assigned him to Triple A, according to MLB.com's transactions page. Rivera, who turns 34 later this month, has big league experience with the Tigers, Padres and Brewers. He last played in the majors in 2009 and spent most of this season at AA for the Dodgers.

Rivera posted a .257/.384/.377 line at Chattanooga, showing more patience than he did in his big league career (.244/.305/.383 MLB line). The Marlins don't have much depth behind the plate, since John Baker has an injured elbow and Ronny Paulino has been suspended for PED use. We heard last night that they were looking to sign a catcher.

Dodgers Sign Mike Rivera

In his latest wrap-up of minor league transactions, Baseball America's Matt Eddy reports that the Dodgers signed catcher Mike Rivera to a minor-league deal last week.  The veteran backstop spent the last four seasons in Milwaukee, hitting .260/.333/.423 in 374 plate appearances.  Rivera was non-tendered over the winter and signed by New York, but was released by the Yankees on April 3.

We heard last week that the Dodgers weren't going to acquire a veteran catcher in the wake of the injury to regular backup Brad Ausmus, but perhaps the club wanted a bit of cover in case rookie A.J. Ellis wasn't up to the task of backing up Russell Martin.

Yankees Release Mike Rivera

The Yankees have released catcher Mike Rivera according to GM Brian Cashman, tweets Marc Carig of The Newark Star-Ledger. The writing was on the wall once the Yanks signed Chad Moeller this morning.

Rivera, 33, struggled in Spring Training (3-for-18) and missed some time with a hamstring issue. He's a .244/.305/.383 career hitter in 582 plate appearances, seeing most of his big league action with the Brewers.

Yankees Sign Chad Moeller, Robby Hammock

The Yankees have signed veteran catcher Chad Moeller to a minor league contract according to Chad Jennings of The Journal News, just two days after the Orioles released him.

With catchers Jorge Posada, Francisco Cervelli, and Mike Rivera all battling minor injuries, Moeller will provide the Yankees with some depth at Triple-A. Jennings says the team is expected to release Rivera. Moeller hit .258/.313/.438 in 100 plate appearances for the O's last season, and played for the Yanks in 2008. 

Jennings adds that the Yanks also signed utility man Robby Hammock to a minor league deal as well. The former Diamondback spent last season in the minors, and is a career .255/.313/.409 hitter in 525 big league plate appearances.