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.
In a less-notable move on Friday, the Rays acquired right-hander Wilmer Font from the Athletics in exchange for minor league right-hander Peter Bayer. Font was designated for assignment by the A’s on Wednesday.
This is the second trade involving the righty since the start of the season. The Athletics acquired 28-year-old Font from the Dodgers in late April, but were underwhelmed by his performance after he racked up 11 runs, five home runs, four walks and nine strikeouts in his first 6 2/3 innings of relief. While the rookie has yet to prove himself at the big league level, he posted a much more respectable pitching line with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017, going 10-8 in 25 starts with a 3.42 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 11.9 SO/9 in 134 1/3 innings. It’s still unclear whether the Rays intend to give him another opportunity in the majors this year or use him as depth in the minors.
Bayer, 24, is still a ways away from cracking any major league roster. He advanced to High-A Charlotte prior to the trade and allowed eight runs, two homers, six walks and six strikeouts in his first four innings.