LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have reached a tentative agreement with free-agent outfielder Juan Rivera on a one-year contract with a 2013 option for approximately $4 million guaranteed, according to a baseball source.
Rivera was acquired at the All-Star break from the Toronto Blue Jays virtually for free and became the run producer the Dodgers have looking for since Manny Ramirez went wrong.
Rivera drove in 46 runs in 62 games, although he hit .274 with only five home runs in 219 at-bats and a .739 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage). The nine-year veteran had a career-high 25 home runs for the Angels in 2009 before being dealt to Toronto in the Vernon Wells trade. He just finished up a three-year, $12.75 million contract.
Rivera, 33, was a favorite of manager Don Mattingly from their days together with the Yankees. Rivera was able to play both corner outfield positions.
The signing of Rivera might indicate a "bird-in-the-hand" approach by general manager Ned Colletti, who wanted to add a big bat this winter (Prince Fielder appeared to be the target), but seems to be lowering his sights considering the ongoing uncertainty of ownership and the payroll.
There had been consideration to moving first baseman James Loney to left field if Fielder was signed.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.