Juan Rivera‘s days as a Dodger seemed over from the moment the final out of the season was recorded. The 34-year-old was a free agent and Ned Colletti already had a backup corner outfielder under contract in Jerry Hairston Jr. (and later, Skip Schumaker).
It became official Monday, with multiple reports out of New York that Rivera signed a minor-league contract with the Yankees, the team that signed him as a teenager out of Venezuela 17 years ago.
In 109 games last season, Rivera batted .244 with nine home runs and 47 RBIs. It was a disappointing follow-up to his 62-game audition as a Dodger in 2011 (.274/.333/.406) in a year the Dodgers could have used him with injuries befalling Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, and Shane Victorino, Bobby Abreu and Tony Gwynn Jr. doing little with their playing time.
The Dodgers purchased Rivera’s contract after he was designated for assignment by the Toronto Blue Jays on July 12, 2011, then got a one-year $4 million contract after the season. The Dodgers chose to buy out Rivera’s contract for $500,000 rather than exercise his option for 2013.
SportsNet LA will be the Dodgers’ home channel from 2014 to 2039, under a landmark deal announced this morning.
We know that Time Warner Cable will carry the channel, but who else? That could take some time to figure out, and Dodger fans who subscribe to Verizon, AT&T U-Verse, Dish Network, DirecTV, Cox and Charter Cable better hope it gets figured out before the 2014 season begins. And if your provider does carry the channel, how much of the estimated $280 million average value on the deal gets passed directly onto your monthly bill?
The contract is still subject to the approval of Major League Baseball. Large-market teams typically share one-third of their television revenues with MLB and the Dodgers don’t want to share that much, according to various reports.
It’s been a slow baseball news day otherwise, so enjoy these eclectic tidbits from around the league:
The Dodgers and Time Warner Cable officially announced the creation of a new channel, SportsNet LA, this morning.
In effect, the Dodgers will be televised on their own regional sports network beginning in the 2014 season. The next challenge will be to secure distribution among the local carriers. TWC has already agreed to be the charter distributor throughout Southern California and Hawaii.
Here’s the full text of the press release from TWC: