After Juan Rivera left the Los Angeles Angels, the region was stunned. Southern California commerce -- so dependent on "Take Me to the Rivera" shirts and "Juan More Homer" placards -- took a hit. Baseball attendance cratered in Los Angeles and Anaheim.
The Los Angeles Dodgers decided to make a bold transaction, then, by acquiring Juan Rivera from the Toronto Blue Jays for cash considerations or a player to be named later. It's well-documented that the Dodgers don't have any cash, and Baseball Nation feels comfortable guessing that it would take $25 million dollars to acquire a player of Rivera's caliber, so a PTBNL is the most likely return for the Blue Jays. Hopefully, Clayton Kershaw was just renting his place in LA.
In order to make room on the 25- and 40-man rosters, the Dodgers designated Marcus Thames for assignment. Though Thames is essentially the same player as Rivera -- a right-handed hitter whose greatest value comes from mashing left-handed pitching -- the Dodgers absolutely had to make the switch to restore Southern California to its rightful place as the Juan Rivera Capital of Baseball.
Rivera has hit .243/.305/.360 for a .666 OPS, a mark that obviously caught the Dodgers' eye. He should greatly improve on the .197/243/.333 mark that Thames put up in 66 at-bats. With the middle of the Dodgers' lineup solidified, the team hopes to make up their 11-game deficit in the NL West, possibly in the next two weeks. According to Dylan Hernandez, the Dodgers also received cash in the deal to help defray the $2.2 million he is still owed for 2011.
There is no word on a possible multi-year extension yet.