leaderboard. Perhaps that's reason enough for no one to be excited about his addition to the roster; aging corner outfielders who can't hit are available in fairly prevalent supply.
Time for the tested and true Player A vs Player B vs Player C career slashline comparison. (Figures are OBP/SLG/OPS.)
Strikingly similar, amirite? Now what would you say if I told you those three players were golden-boy Aaron Hill, waiver claimee/resignee Edwin Encarnacion, and salary dump Juan Rivera? Hill's got to be the .790 guy, right?
this list of historical struggling sluggers. None of which goes to show that he's a worse player than either Rivera or Encarnacion - defence and positional value do matter, after all - but as a hitter, he's very similar to if not worse than either of those guys.
Scott Hatteberg; in 2002, pre-Moneyball, on-base was the freely available commodity, and now it's isolated power. (Sure, Juan Rivera is making $5 million this year, but the consensus seems to be that he's not worth half as much, and there's always a decent chance we could see a similar situation play out with him as what we saw with Encarnacion. Remember, EE was a salary-dump as well, but once his price went down AA chose to bring him back at a much more manageable cost.)
A lot of people seem to be writing off Rivera too easily. I've seen barely an article about him since the trade, and some of the prospect-fiends on twitter ask if he's going to be cut or thrust aside as soon as a viable candidate (Lawrie? Mastroanni? Thames?) materializes in Vegas. I question that assumption - if there was ever a hitter who profiled better as a 2010 Blue Jay, it'd be hard to find one. We may be forced to sit through a lot of solo home runs in 2011.