With the waiver deadline fast approaching you may see some more LA Angels players dealt to playoff contenders. Catcher Rene Rivera was the first to go, but not in the conventional way.
The LA Angels lost catcher Rene Rivera to the Atlanta Braves on a waiver wire claim on Wednesday. Essentially what happened is the Angels had made the decision to trade Rivera to a contender, but before this can be done, the Angels had to put him on waivers. If any team claimed him, which Atlanta did, the Angels would lose him for basically nothing. If Rivera had not been claimed by anyone the Angels would have been free to deal him to any club before the Friday afternoon deadline.
Rene Rivera has had a long major league career and has bounced around playing for eight teams including the Angels since breaking into the league with the Seattle Mariners in the end of the 2004 season. Rivera has played in 1,398 games with 2014 being his best season in the majors as Rivera established career highs in home runs with 11 and RBIs with 44 while batting .252 with the Padres that season.
Rivera had a major league hiatus from 2007 to 2010 where he played strictly in the minors. However at the end of 2011 he was called up for 45 games with the Minnesota Twins. Rivera only hit .144 in 114 at-bats that season and he was relegated back to the minors in 2012.
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Rivera made it back to the majors again in 2013 being called up for 23 games with the San Diego Padres. In 2014 he was with the Padres most of the season before going to Tampa Bay in 2014. Rivera spent two years with the Rays before going to the Mets in 2016.
In 2017 the Mets traded Rivera to the Chicago Cubs who Rivera played 20 games with in 2017. In the off-season Rivera was signed by the Angels to be Martin Maldonado’s back-up and he played 30 games this season hitting .244 with four homers and 11 RBIs.
Rivera missed 80 games with a torn meniscus in his right knee before returning two weeks ago to the Angels hitting a game-winning ninth inning home run against one of his old teams the San Diego Padres on a August 15th.
Rivera will join the first place Atlanta Braves who are trying to make the post-season for the first time since 2013. Rivera for his career has hit 40 home runs and driven in 164 runs with a career average of .221. He has played in one post-season contest in 2016 for the New York Mets in a wild-card game where he went 1 for 3.
Good luck Rene!!!