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Angels sign Juan Rivera

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  • Angels sign Juan Rivera

    The Angels today signed outfielder Juan Rivera to a three-year, $12.75-million contract, a move that could signal the end of veteran outfielder Garret Anderson's 14-year Angels career.

    With Rivera, 30, locked up for three years, the Angels have three players -- Vladimir Guerrero and Gary Matthews Jr. are the others -- who can rotate through the corner outfield and designated-hitter spots. Torii Hunter is the team's center fielder.

    That would appear to eliminate the need for the Angels to retain Anderson, who became a free agent in November after the Angels bought out his $14-million option for 2009 for $3 million.

    It would also seem to end the Angels' pursuit of free-agent outfielders such as Bobby Abreu and Pat Burrell. If free-agent first baseman Mark Teixeira signs elsewhere, switch-hitter Kendry Morales would step in at first.

    Rivera has played four seasons with the Angels and hit .246 with 12 home runs, 45 runs batted in and 13 doubles in 89 games last season.

    All 12 of his home runs came in a span of 58 games after July 2, when he took over for the struggling and injured Matthews in the outfield. He was also the team's top pinch-hitter, batting .357 (five for 13) with five RBIs, including two game-winners.

    Rivera, acquired from Washington in a 2004 trade with infielder Maicer Izturis for outfielder Jose Guillen, has a .282 average with 53 homers and 197 RBIs in four seasons with the Angels.

    He missed most of the 2007 season because of a broken leg suffered a winter-league game in Venezuela.

    Rivera's new deal will pay him $3.25 million in 2009, $4.25 million in 2010 and $5.25 million in 2011.,5952393.story

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