The Braves have acquired catcher Rene Rivera off waivers from the Angels, as MLB.com’s Jon Morosi first reported Wednesday:
#Braves acquire Rene Rivera from #Angels via waiver claim. @MLB @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) August 29, 2018
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.