What Does Juan Rivera Mean?

Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 11:22 AM EST

Contributed by: Dave Rutt

Well, the original trade thread filled up faster than the Skydome on a Tuesday in August. Wait...

Anyway, here's a new one for your AA venerating pleasure.

Many posters have been speculating about what Juan Rivera's role will be with the 2011 team. Others think it will be non-existent. I'm in the latter camp. He's in the trade because the Angels don't need him and don't want to pay his salary. This doesn't necessarily mean the Jays don't want him, but I just can't see why they would. I think they're committed to Bautista staying in right, obviously Snider needs to play every day, and, well, Juan Rivera is not a center fielder.

Speaking of which, there isn't really a backup CF on the team right now, which puts a damper on the notion that Rivera might be even the fourth outfielder.

So as several Bauxites have already opined, I think another move is coming in order to solve the third base issue. It'll probably be a short-term move, as Lawrie is being groomed to be the Third Baseman of the Future, but with the team's preference to keep JB in right and EE off of third I just think something else is coming.

If that's true, the roster will feature: an extra C/1B/DH in the Lind/EE/Napoli/Arencibia rotation, presumably a back-up CF, and John McDonald. That leaves one more spot on the roster, so Rivera could make the team, but I really could see him just being released. (Plus, there's a chance Molina stays with the team.) The type-B free agent thing is moot if he isn't playing every day, since he won't qualify. A decent bat with poor defense in an outfield corner? They're a dime a dozen.


MLB Trade Rumours has details and reactions from the trade. Not surprisingly, the reactions are at worst "good for both teams" and at best a great deal for the Jays.

By the way, here's the 2012 free agent list. The big names: Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes.