The Dodgers sign Juan Rivera for one year, $4.5 million

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Fox’s Jon Paul Morosi tweets that the Dodgers have signed outfielder Juan Rivera to one-year, $4.5 million contract. The deal is, as always, pending a physical. The $4.5 million is a pay cut from the $5.25 million he made in 2011.

Rivera split time between the Blue Jays and the Dodgers last year, coming to L.A. in a midseason trade after the Jays DFA’d him. Last winter he was part of the Mike Napoli/Vernon Wells deal, moving from Anaheim to Toronto.

In 521 overall plate appearances he hit .258/.319/.382 with 11 homers. He can play some first base too, so he’s a credible bench/utility guy even if the hitting doesn’t improve enough to justify a starting corner outfield job. Which it probably won’t, but he’s not chopped liver either.

Brewers place Eric Thames on disabled list with torn UCL in left thumb

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On Wednesday, the Brewers placed first baseman Eric Thames on the 10-day disabled list with a torn UCL in his left thumb. In a corresponding roster move, the Brewers recalled pitcher Brandon Woodruff from Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Thames, 31, exited Tuesday’s game against the Royals before the bottom of the ninth inning. After the game, manager Craig Counsell expressed concern about his thumb. As MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports, Brewers GM David Stearns says that surgery is likely but not definite, but that he expects Thames to be back for a “significant” portion of the 2018 season.

Thames was hitting quite well for the Brewers, owning a .250/.351/.625 triple-slash line along with seven home runs and 13 RBI in 74 plate appearances. Jesus Aguilar should handle first base while Thames is out. Ryan Braun could also see some action at first base.