Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/3/11
The news out of Los Angeles is that the Dodgers have inked outfielder/first baseman Juan Rivera to a one-year guaranteed deal worth $4.5 million, with a club option for 2013. This deal is puzzling for several reasons — among them Rivera’s age, his offensive production over the last two seasons, his mediocre defense and the ramifications for other potential Dodger moves. Los Angeles got Rivera in a July trade from Toronto after the Blue Jays designated him for assignment. Rivera landed north of the border in January via the trade that sent Vernon Wells to the Los Angeles Angels. But Rivera didn’t produce for the Blue Jays, posting a slash of .243/.305/.360 with 11 doubles and six home runs in 70 games.  By mid-July, Rivera was back in Southern California where he’d played since 2005. Rivera picked it up a notch for the Dodgers, batting .274/.333/.406 with 12 doubles and five home runs in 62 games. His offense was a significant upgrade over Marcus Thames, whom Rivera replaced, and over Tony
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