Rivera returns to L.A. in Jays-Dodgers deal

Juan Rivera hit six home runs during his half-season with the Blue Jays. (REBECCA COOK/Reuters...

Juan Rivera hit six home runs during his half-season with the Blue Jays. (REBECCA COOK/Reuters files)

Bob Elliott, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:52 PM ET

The Juan Rivera era in Toronto officially ended Tuesday.

Obtained on Jan. 21 along with catcher Mike Napoli from the Los Angeles Angels for Vernon Wells and the $86 million US remaining on his contract, the Blue Jays have sent Rivera packing to the coast.

The outfielder was dealt to the L.A. Dodgers for roughly $175,000, with the Jays paying about $2.095 million remaining on RIvera’s contract.

Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos sent Napoli away for reliever Frank Francisco three days after the Wells deal was completed, and he had attempted to deal Rivera from January until now.

On July 3, the Jays designated Rivera for assignment, recalling outfielder Travis Snider from triple-A Las Vegas.

Rivera will receive $5.25 million this season. When the season opened, Jose Bautista was the only Blue Jay to have a higher salary this year.

Rivera, 33, appeared in 70 games for the Jays, batting .243 with six home runs and 27 RBIs. He had a .667 OPS.

With the Dodgers, Rivera will be a right-handed complement to Tony Gwynn Jr. in left field and James Loney at first base.

Rivera was a right-handed bat against left-handers for the Jays, but he struggled in the field. He started 20 games at first, 12 in left field, three in right field and 25 at DH.

The Jays now are heavy from the left side — not that there is anything wrong with that. Eric Thames, Corey Patterson and Snider are all left-handed hitters. Their only right-handed hitting outfielder is Rajal Davis.

bob.elliott@sunmedia.ca


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