Dodgers, Juan Rivera closing in on new contract

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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.

Pirates release Francisco Cervelli

Francisco Cervelli
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The Pittsburgh Pirates just announced that they have released catcher Francisco Cervelli. No waivers, no DFA. Just his unconditional release.

Cervelli had been on a rehab assignment in the minors in his efforts to come back from a concussion. He had been sidelined since May, and there had been no timeline for his return, but he played in a minor league game as recently as Monday.

Over the summer, however, Cervelli voiced doubts about his ability to continue catching in light of the six concussions he’s weathered over the last decade. At one point he said he could not catch again but then walked it back. Whether his release was requested and whether Cervelli plans to end his big league career is not yet known.

I’m sure we’ll hear more about this soon.

UPDATE: Um, OK. Based on this I guess it’s more of a matter of the Pirates simply not wanting him anymore: