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Yankees add Rivera to outfield mix

NEW YORK -- The Yankees have found another option in their pursuit of a right-handed bat, reuniting with outfielder Juan Rivera on a Minor League contract.

Rivera played his his first three Major League seasons in pinstripes from 2001-03. Last year with the Dodgers, Rivera appeared in 109 games and hit .244 with nine homers and 47 RBIs, a season shortened by a left hamstring injury.

The 34-year-old Rivera will compete with Matt Diaz and Russ Canzler to be the Yankees' primary right-handed-hitting outfielder. Rivera hit .260 (33-for-127) with a .745 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging) against left-handed pitchers last season, and he has a career .820 OPS against southpaws.

The Yanks have been seeking an outfielder with power from the right side because their starting outfield of Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Ichiro Suzuki all bat left-handed.

Rivera is a .274 lifetime hitter and has played with the Yankees, Expos, Angels, Blue Jays and Dodgers. He was traded by New York to Montreal in December 2003, along with pitcher Randy Choate and first baseman Nick Johnson for pitcher Javier Vazquez.

The Yanks plan to announce the entire list of their Minor League signings and Spring Training invitations later this week.

New York Yankees, Juan Rivera