Cubs claim C Rene Rivera off waivers from the Mets … Designate RHP Aaron Brooks for Assignment
The Cubs added a veteran catcher to the 40-man roster Saturday morning. The Cubs claimed C Rene Rivera off waivers from the New York Mets. This is a straight waiver claim and did not cost the Cubs a player. To make room on the 40-man roster for Rivera, RHP Aaron Brooks was designated for assignment.
Rene Rivera was one of several back-up catchers the Cubs were linked to prior to the non-waiver trade deadline. The Cubs acquired Alex Avila from the Tigers instead of making a deal with the Mets. But on Saturday, the team added a much-needed catcher that is very good behind the plate.
Rivera is expected to be activated in the next few days, either Sunday or Tuesday. The Cubs will have to clear a spot on the active roster for a couple of weeks, likely sending Victor Caratini back to Iowa until Sept. 1.
Rene Rivera, 34, has played all or part of nine Major League seasons with the Seattle Mariners (2004-06), Minnesota Twins (2011), San Diego Padres (2013-14), Tampa Bay Rays (2015) and New York Mets (2016-17) and is a career .215/.266/.340 hitter (274-for-1,272) with 53 doubles, 34 homers and 141 RBI in 453 games. With the Mets this season, he is batting .230/.278/.391 (40-for-174) with four doubles, eight home runs and 23 RBI in 54 games. Versus lefties, the right-handed hitting Rivera has put together a .250/.268/.575 line this season with a .843 OPS.
Behind the plate, Rivera has thrown out 10-of-31 runners attempting to steal this season, a 32.3 percent success rate, which would tie for third-best in the National League if he had enough games played to qualify. Rivera’s success rate this year mirrors his career totals, as he has thrown out 97-of-300 runners attempting to steal, 32.3 percent.
Rivera is a native of Bayamon, Puerto Rico and enjoyed his best Major League campaign in 2014 with the Padres when he batted .252/.319/.432 (74-for-294) and established career highs with 18 doubles, 11 homers and 44 RBI in 103 games.
Aaron Brooks was acquired from the A’s at the start of Spring Training in 2016 for Chris Coghlan. The Cubs sent Coghlan to Oakland to make room for the re-signing of Dexter Fowler. The Cubs reacquired Coghlan from the A’s for Arismendy Alcantara in June of 2016.
Brooks, 27, did not pitch in the majors for the Cubs. With the I-Cubs this season, Brooks has gone 8-9 with a 6.20 ERA (95 earned runs in 138 innings) and a 1.51 WHIP in 24 starts.