Shuffling the deck chairs: Dodgers acquire Juan Rivera from Blue Jays, drop Marcus Thames

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I’m not sure if this means the Dodgers think they’re buyers at 41-51 or what, but they’ve acquired Juan Rivera from the Blue Jays for a player to be named later or “cash considerations” while designating Marcus Thames for assignment.

Setting aside the absurdity of the Dodgers sending “cash considerations” to another team–surely the Blue Jays are paying nearly all of Rivera’s remaining salary–Rivera and Thames are about as identical as two players can get, as they’re both defensively challenged, right-handed-hitting corner outfielders with 25-homer power who should be limited to platoon roles facing left-handed pitching.

Rivera is 34 and has a .779 career OPS, Thames is 32 and has a .794 career OPS. Rivera might be slightly better than Thames in a larger role and he’s healthier at the moment, but by swapping them the Dodgers are basically doing nothing. Talk about shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.

Angels hire Brad Ausmus as special assistant to the GM

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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have hired former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus as a special assistant to GM Billy Eppler.

Ausmus, 48, managed the Tigers for four seasons, accruing a 314-332 (.486) record. The Tigers fired him after the 2017 season and hired former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire in his place.

Ausmus will assist with scouting and evaluations of players in the Angels’ system, amateurs, and players in other organizations.