With free agency set to begin on Thursday, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Dodgers and Juan Rivera are closing in on a new contract. The two sides are discussing a one-year deal with a club option for 2013.
Rivera was acquired from Blue Jays in July after being designated for assignment. The 33-year-old batted .258/.319/.382 with 11 home runs, 74 RBI and a .704 OPS over 521 plate appearances this season, including a .740 OPS with Los Angeles. He doesn’t qualify for free agent compensation.
Assuming they get a deal done, Rivera will likely see most of his playing time in left field next season. He could also be an option at first base if the Dodgers non-tender James Loney.
Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal reports that Mets second baseman Neil Walker is expected to undergo season-ending surgery to fix a herniated disk in his lower back. Walker has avoided the disabled list but hasn’t played since last Saturday and has only two starts since August 22.
If Walker does indeed go under the knife, he’ll end his first season with the Mets with a terrific .282/.347/.476 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 55 RBI in 458 plate appearances. While the Mets couldn’t have foreseen Daniel Murphy having such a terrific season, Walker was more than adequate in Murphy’s shoes at second base.
Kelly Johnson and Wilmer Flores have handled second base in Walker’s absence and will continue to do so through the remainder of the season.
Rockies 1B/OF Stephen Cardullo celebrated his 29th birthday on Wednesday, so the rookie decided to celebrate by homering in both games of his team’s doubleheader at home against the Dodgers.
In the first game, Cardullo pinch-hit for Chris Rusin in the seventh inning and drilled a solo home run off of Casey Fien. In the second game, Cardullo smacked a grand slam to left-center field off of Bud Norris in the first inning.
Cardullo made his major league debut this past Friday. He was hitless in his first five at-bats before singling as a pinch-hitter on Monday.