The Phillies agreed to a minor-league deal last week with T.J. Rivera, as first reported by Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter). No other terms are known, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the former Mets’ infielder secured an invite to MLB spring training.
Rivera, now 31, hasn’t seen MLB action since a September 2017 Tommy John Surgery. Before that injury, he had done fairly well as a role player in Queens, slashing .304/.335/.445 (109 wRC+), while logging time at first, second, third and in left field. He’s never been one to draw many walks or hit for much power, but he perennially put the ball in play in the minors and ran a minuscule 14.2% strikeout rate over his 344 MLB plate appearances.
Rivera latched on with the Nationals on a minor-league deal last August, but an undisclosed injury limited him to fifteen games in AA. He’ll try to earn a spot as a right-handed utility option off Joe Girardi’s bench, much like Phil Gosselin, whom the Phillies also recently signed to a minor-league deal.