The Braves acquired catcher Rene Rivera from the Angels on Wednesday afternoon in a waiver move to increase their depth behind the plate. The return, which is sure to be next-to-nothing, is yet to be reported.
Rivera, 35, grades out as a decent pitch framer and defensive option. He owns a .244/.287/.439 batting line (99 wRC+) through 87 plate appearances in 2018, although he’s striking out in more than one-third of his at-bats.
Rivera will likely join the club on September 1st.
The Braves had little catching depth behind Tyler Flowers and Kurt Suzuki, and we all saw the panic that set in when Suzuki was hit by a fastball in the elbow last week. Rivera represents an upgrade over Chris Stewart and Alex Jackson, who likely would’ve gotten the call as the team’s third catcher once rosters expand. The addition of Rivera will also free up Flowers and Suzuki to be pinch-hitting options for manager Brian Snitker.
Teams have until August 31st to add to their 40-man rosters. Any player added before then is playoff-roster eligible.