The Rangers have signed infielder Yadiel Rivera to a minor league contract, according to their executive vice president of communications, John Blake. The deal includes an invitation to big league spring training.
Texas will be the third MLB organization for the 27-year-old Rivera, previously a member of the Brewers and Marlins. Rivera appeared in the majors in each of the past five seasons, but he struggled mightily to make his mark, evidenced by his dismal .178/.248/.221 line with a single home run and a feckless .043 ISO over 188 plate appearances. Strikeouts have been a significant problem for Rivera, who has fallen victim to the K just under 31 percent of the time during his brief MLB action.
Although Rivera has hit better in Triple-A ball, he hasn’t exactly crushed pitching there. In 1,358 PA at the minors’ top level, Rivera has slashed .243/.280/.352 with 22 homers. Rivera did bat a fairly productive-looking .293/.310/.477 in 312 PA with the Marlins’ Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans last season, but his output was 16 percent below average in the offensively charged Pacific Coast League environment, according to FanGraphs’ wRC+ metric. Furthermore, Rivera’s strikeout and walk rates were abysmal. He went down on strikes at a 26 percent clip and collected walks just 1.9 percent of the time.