The 37 year old Rivera enters free agency for the TWELFTH time in his career, having played for the (you ready?): Mariners, Twins, Padres, Rays, Mets, Braves, Cubs, Angels, and a part of a spring training with the Giants. The career .221/.272/.353 hitter leaves a good deal to be desired with the bat, having a career average of a 72 OPS+, and struggles to make consistent hard contact with pitching, having an average exit velocity over the past six seasons of 86.7 (league average is 88.3 during that time). On top of that he does not walk much (5.5 percent average over the last six seasons) and strikes out almost seven percent over the league average.
Rivera makes his money at the defensive portion of the game, as he has totaled 16 Runs Extra Strikes over the last six season, while being a part time player, which makes it even more impressive. He also has 28 DRS to his career, with the highlight being a 15 DRS season in 2014 with the San Diego Padres.
Moving forward for Rivera, he is likely entering his last season or two, and will be nothing more than a backup or third string catcher, but his defensive minded approach, is shared with other catchers, who have played deep into their 30’s, like Jeff Mathis, to name one.
These are the teams I believe are in contention to sign Rivera: Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Seattle Mariners, Pittsburgh Pirates
Final Landing Spot Prediction: Rene Rivera signs a minor league deal with an invite to spring training with the Arizona Diamondbacks
2021 Stat Line Prediction: .215/.235/.397 .632 OPS 2 HR 5 RBI