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Dodgers acquire Juan Rivera, designate Marcus Thames for assignment

Rivera, an outfielder who was designated for assignment by Toronto this month, comes in exchange for a player to be named or cash. Thames batted .197 in 36 games.

July 12, 2011|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Former Toronto Blue Jays and Angels outfielder Juan Rivera was acquired by the Dodgers on Tuesday.
Former Toronto Blue Jays and Angels outfielder Juan Rivera was acquired… (Chris Young / Associated…)

Manny Ramirez he is not. But the Dodgers were convinced they made an upgrade in left field Tuesday by acquiring former Angel Juan Rivera from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for a player to be named or cash.

The Dodgers cleared a roster spot for Rivera by designating Marcus Thames for assignment.

"I don't know if it's a final push, but he's someone we thought could improve our club," General Manager Ned Colletti said.

The Dodgers are 11 games out of first place in the National League West. If they don't make a significant move up the standings in the next couple of weeks, they are expected to become sellers at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Rivera, who was hitting .243 with six home runs and 28 runs batted in, was traded to the Dodgers along with money to cover a majority of the $2.5 million he is owed for the remainder of the season.

Rivera was designated for assignment this month, but is only two seasons removed from hitting .297 with 25 home runs and 88 RBIs with the Angels. The Blue Jays acquired Rivera in January as part of the deal that sent Vernon Wells to the Angels.

Colletti said the right-handed-hitting Rivera could complement the left-handed-hitting Tony Gwynn Jr. in left field. Rivera is hitting .327 against left-handers this season.

Rivera could also spell the left-handed-hitting James Loney at first base.

That was the kind of role the Dodgers envisioned for Thames when they signed him to a one-year, $1-million contract over the winter.

Thames and Jay Gibbons were expected to form a right-left platoon in left field, but neither player could hit or play defense. Thames batted .197 in 36 games. Gibbons, who was designated for assignment in June, hit .255 in 24 games.

Gibbons accepted an assignment to the Dodgers' triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque.

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