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New York Yankees Sign Juan Rivera

January 28th, 2013 at 7:00 PM
By Daniel Sirianni

The New York Yankees and outfielder Juan Rivera have agreed to a minor league deal, reports Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York.

'Juan Rivera' photo (c) 2012, Ron Gallegos - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Rivera, 34, began his career with the Yankees back in 2001 and played the first three years of his career in pinstripes until being traded to the Montreal Expos in a multi-player deal that landed starter Javier Vazquez in New York following the 2003 season. 

In 109 games last season, Rivera hit .244 with nine home runs and 47 RBI for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 12-year veteran hit a career-high 25 home runs in 2009 with the Los Angeles Angels. 

Though Rivera signed a minor league deal, he'll join Matt Diaz, Russ Canzler, and Thomas Neal in spring training to compete for the team's fourth outfielder spot. With starters Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, and Ichiro Suzuki all being left-handed hitters, the Yankees are looking for a right-handed bat to platoon at the corner outfield positions. Minor leaguers Melky Mesa and Zoilo Almonte could also be in the running if they impress in camp. 

In addition to all three outfield positions, the versatile Rivera has experience in the infield as well, playing over 100 games at first base over the past three seasons. 

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Tags: Baseball, Juan Rivera, MLB, New York, New York Yankees

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