Rene Rivera, Catcher, New York Mets, #44
Date of Birth: 7/31/1983
Birthplace: Bayamon, Puerto Rico
Current Salary: $1,750,000
Rene Rivera, catcher for the New York Mets, was first drafted in 2001 by the Seattle Mariners when he was 17 years old. He played in the Mariners' minor league system from 2001 through most of 2006, playing in just 53 games with the Mariners from 2004 through 2006.
Rivera signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers in November, 2007. A year later, he signed with the New York Mets. In May, 2010, he signed with his fourth team, the New York Yankees. Less than eight months later, he signed one more minor league contract, this time with the Minnesota Twins. From 2007 through 2010, he played only in the minor leagues.
In 2011, Rivera finally made it to the major leagues, playing in 45 games with the Twins. However, he was back in the minor leagues in 2012. He signed his last minor league contract in December, 2012, with the San Diego Padres. In 2013, he played mostly in the minors, joining the Padres for just 23 games.
Rivera finished the 2014 season with 74 hits, 18 doubles, 11 home runs, 44 RBIs, and a .252 batting average in 103 games. His strength was defensively, particularly in catching players trying to steal. He had a .363 caught stealing percentage and a .989 fielding percentage in 89 games as the Padres' catcher.
Rivera was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays on December 19, 2014. He finished the 2015 season with 53 hits, 14 doubles, and a .178 batting average in 110 games with the Rays. As a catcher, he made 60 assists, 752 putouts, and 11 errors in 107 games. He caught players trying to steal 36.5% of the time and he had a .987 fielding percentage.
Rivera signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets on April 5, 2016. He finished the 2016 season with 41 hits and a .222 batting average in 65 games with the Mets. Defensively, as the Mets' catcher in 59 games, he mae 37 assists, 495 putouts, and 2 errors. He had a .996 fielding percentage and he caught players trying to steal 29.5% of the time. In three at-bats in the Wild Card game, he had one hit.
Rivera became a free agent on November 3, 2016. He re-signed with the Mets on December 2, 2016. His new contract is for one year at $1.75 million.
Career batting statistics for Rivera through 2016 include:
- 399 games played
- 234 hits
- 118 RBIs
- 305 strikeouts to 68 walks
- .213 batting average
Career fielding statistics for Rivera as a catcher through 2016 include:
- 372 games played
- 210 assists
- 2,636 putouts
- 30 errors
- .364 caught stealing percentage
- .990 fielding percentage
Rivera and his wife Mariel have twins.