We saw this one coming since the Yankees announced that they signed catcher Chad Moeller to a minor league deal. The Yankees have released catcher Mike Rivera who served as major league insurance and was expected to be the back up to top prospect Jesus Montero in Triple-A Scranton according to Chad Jennings of the Journal News.
Rivera, 35, has a career OPS+ of 82 in the major leagues to Moeller’s 63 OPS+, but he isn’t as strong defensively as Moeller. I guess the Yankees figured that since Moeller was available and Rivera was dealing with a bad spring and a sore hamstring that they might as well make the switch. Montero will be better off with Moeller teaching him the position.
This is a deal that probably won’t have a huge impact at the major league level. At most I could see him getting about a dozen starts in the Bronx this summer.