What about Juan Rivera?

Juan Rivera

The Reds reportedly have talked to representatives for free-agent outfielders Rocco Baldelli and Juan Rivera, and Walt Jocketty says Pat Burrell‘s reps contacted him.

I know some fans would love to get Burrell, but I’d say “no thanks” to Pat the Bat and Baldelli and “maybe” to Rivera (if the price is right).

Burrell is Adam Dunn with a little bit less power (Burrell has never hit 40 home runs in a season; Dunn’s hit at least 40 in five consecutive seasons). Compare their stats: Burrell over the past three seasons has averaged .254/31/92 with 105 walks and 129 strikeouts. Dunn over the past three seasons has averaged .245/40/100 with 112 walks and 140 strikeouts.

Dunn got traded and had worn out his welcome with many Reds fans. Why would a guy who’s statistically (and defensively) pretty much the same player fare any better?

Baldelli is only 26, but there are too many questions about his health with his mitochondrial disorder, which slows muscle recovery and causes severe fatigue. I don’t think he can be relied upon to provide the big right-handed bat the Reds need.

Juan Rivera is a little more intriguing because he hit .310/23/85 in 448 at-bats with the Angels in 2006 before he broke his leg (and missed almost all of the 2007 season). But he hit .246/12/45 in 256 at-bats last season and he might be less risky than Baldelli but there’s no telling whether he can 1) regain his 2006 form and 2) stay healthy enough to play an entire season.

That being said, I wouldn’t mind terribly as long as the Reds didn’t overpay for him. He doesn’t strike out much at all (but he doesn’t walk too much either). His funniest stat: He has nine career stolen bases, but he’s been caught stealing 17 times. He made $2.025 last season. The Rays reportedly have expressed interest in Rivera.

1 Comment

  1. Dan

    Burrell is kinda fun to think about, but you are right he is just like Adam Dunn.

    Rios… good call. Speaking of calls… you need to place that call to Jocketty and give him the heads up on that idea.

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