It’s not the signing that will heat the hot stove like we’ve all been hoping for, but we have a signing nonetheless! The Angels have signed catcher Rene Rivera to a one-year deal, per a team announcement. The deal will guarantee $2.8 million, with $200k available in incentives based on games started at catcher.
Rivera split 2017 between the Mets and Cubs, putting up a solid .252/.305/.431 slash line (buoyed by a .999 OPS in his 50 plate appearances down the stretch in Chicago). Rivera had no discernible platoon split this past season, but has typically been quite a bit better against left-handed pitching for his career. Rivera threw out 37% of runners on steal attempts in 2017, right in line with is well-above-average career rate of 36%.
The righty batting 34-year-old is in line to serve as Gold Glover Martin Maldonado’s backup, and give the Angels nearly as good defense behind the dish even when their starting backstop needs a day or two of rest. The Angels will be Rivera’s 7th team since debuting with the Mariners in 2004 at the young age of 20.