At 41-51 and 11 games out in the National League West, one would not expect the Dodgers to be buyers with the trade deadline nearly three weeks away. But they did make a pair of moves today that suggest a willingness to add, not subtract from their team. The Dodgers acquired Juan Rivera from the Toronto Blue Jays for a player to be named later or cash considerations, and have designated Marcus Thames for assignment.
Thames was brought on board to be a lefty-mashing portion of a platoon in left field, but injuries have limited his playing time. In 70 plate appearances this season, Thames hit just .197/.243/.333 and at this point is essentially unable to play the field with a calf injury. He has not played in the field for the last 15 games.
Rivera hasn't been much better than Thames this season, hitting .243/.305/.360, but his ability to play the field at the very least makes him an upgrade over Thames. The question is, at what cost? Rivera's salary is $5.25 million this season, meaning he is owed roughly $2,266,393 for the remainder of the season. The Blue Jays are undoubtedly sending cash in the deal, but the amount has not yet been reported.
Dodgers' left fielders this season have hit .213/.305/.313 with two home runs. Rivera has hit .327/.400/.509 this season against left-handed pitching, and has also played 20 games at first base. He gives the Dodgers an option at first base to rest James Loney against southpaws. Rivera hit a career-high 25 home runs with the Angels in 2009.
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