New York Yankees

MLB Free Agency 2013: Should the Yankees Consider Looking into Juan Rivera?

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Juan Rivera #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a single to score the game winning run for a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals during the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images
Doug RushSenior Analyst IJanuary 17, 2013

Heading into the month of January, the New York Yankees were looking for a bat.

However, it seems like lately they are running out of potential options for that bat.

The Bombers continues to look for a right-handed bat that could be a fourth outfielder and play as a part-time DH.

The team was tied to rumors of being interested in Michael Morse, but the Nationals traded him to the Seattle Mariners in a three-team deal involving the Oakland A's.

 

Cross Michael Morse off the list for that righty bat the Yankees are looking for. Headed to Seattle in three-way deal with A's & Nats.

— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) January 17, 2013

 

Morse would have been a nice fit for the Yankees as he could have been a DH and a fourth outfielder, but the team that Morse originally started with brought him back after dealing him four years ago.

So that option is now off the board for the Yankees.

There is still the possibility of Mets' outfielder Scott Hairston, but according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and WFAN, it's looking like the Bombers won't be involved in an attempt to land Hairston.

 

#mets balked at scott hairston's $8M/2-yr request. #yankees not involved. Saw hairston saturday and he seemed upbeat tho.

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) January 15, 2013

 

It's really surprising that the Yankees aren't actively trying to get Hairston considering they've been linked to him all winter, but it looks as if they won't be pursuing him.

So if those two options are gone for the Yankees, what else is there?

Right now, the team has former Atlanta Braves outfielder Matt Diaz and claimed former Cleveland Indian Russ Canzler, but they're not exactly the most exciting options for a guaranteed roster spot considering Canzler has 102 total at-bats and Diaz has had three thumb surgeries in four years.

Of the remaining free agents out there, there are a few names that are intriguing.

One name that comes to mind is a former Yankee prospect, Juan Rivera.

Rivera came up with the Yankees as a prospect between 2001-2003, but was involved in the trade to the Montreal Expos that landed them Javier Vazquez the first time before the 2004 season.

Rivera has spent most of his career with the Los Angeles Angels and then the Toronto Blue Jays and most recently in 2012, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Rivera hit .244 with nine home runs and 47 RBI in 109 games for the Dodgers as their fourth outfielder.

During the best seasons of his career, Rivera averaged 20 home runs and 80 RBI. As a part-time player, Rivera usually hits around 10-15 home runs and 55 RBI.

Despite not being the best defensive fielder, he can still play the corner outfield positions if needed.

What Rivera would be able to do well is hit against lefties, as he's averaged around .270 against lefty pitching over the last three years.

The 34-year-old outfielder would be a relatively inexpensive option, as he only made $4 million last season with the Dodgers.

For the Yankees in 2013 who have been cutting back on payroll, I doubt it would even take that much money to land Rivera on a major-league deal.

A guy like Rivera might not be the most exciting option out on the market, but as we draw closer to the Yankees reporting for camp, this kind of bat might be the type of option the team needs to consider.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.

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