2012 MLB Free Agents: Juan Rivera Reportedly Close To Return To Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers had a busy night on Tuesday, with owner Frank McCourt agreeing to sell the team and the club having three players win Gold Gloves for the first time in franchise history. Lost in the shuffle was outfielder and first baseman Juan Rivera nearing an agreement to return to the Dodgers.

The deal for Rivera, which will likely be finalized this week, is a one-year contract plus an option for 2013, per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reported the deal was worth "approximately $4 million" guaranteed. That could translate into something like a $3.5 million salary in 2012 and a 2013 option for similar money with a buyout of $500,000.

Rivera hit .258/.319/.374 with 11 home runs and 74 RBI in 132 games between the Toronto Blue Jays and Dodgers in 2011. He was designated for assignment by Toronto on July 4, and traded to the Dodgers eight days later for a player to be named later or cash.

With the Dodgers, Rivera hit .274/.333/.406 with 12 doubles and five home runs in 62 games. However, Rivera excelled in run-scoring opportunities in Los Angeles, hitting .344/.405/.484 with runners in scoring position. His 46 RBI with the Dodgers were ninth-most in the National League after the All-Star break. Rivera started 32 games in left field, 13 games in right field, and 13 games at first base for the Dodgers.

Rivera, 33, made $5.25 million in 2011 in the final season of a three-year contract he signed with the Los Angeles Angels prior to the 2009 season.

Be sure to read True Blue LA for all the latest news on the Dodgers during the hot stove season.

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