It doesn’t appear likely that Rivera will steal significant playing time from the Braves’ existing catchers, Tyler Flowers and Kurt Suzuki, and with players having up to 72 hours to report to a new team, it’s possible that he won’t even join the roster — thus preventing the Braves from having to get rid of any of their current 25 players — before rosters expand on Saturday.
Rivera, 35, had posted a .244/.287/.439 slash line with four homers in 87 plate appearances this season. He’s regarded as an above-average defender, and having him on the bench could allow the Braves to use whoever’s not starting on a given day, whether it’s Flowers or Suzuki, as a pinch-hitter.
This is the second straight year that Rivera has joined a contender as part of an August waiver transaction. After spending most of last season with the Mets, he was claimed by the Cubs — who were dealing with an injury to Willson Contreras — on August 19. He went on to post a ridiculous .341/.408/.591 slash line with two homers in 50 plate appearances down the stretch.
Rivera is a free agent after the season, making him an extremely low-risk acquisition. The Braves will be responsible for the remainder of his modest $2.8 million salary.