Ten days ago Seattle claimed Carlos Rivero off waivers from the Red Sox. He bats right handed and hit .571 for the Red Sox in 2014 at the age of 26. Of course he had only 7 at bats, but hit 2 doubles and a homer. So who is he?
He was signed as an amateur free agent by the Cleveland Indians in 2005 out of Venezuela. He stayed in their minor leagues until November of 2010 when the Phillies claimed in on waivers. One year to the day the Washington Nationals claimed on waivers and two years later was granted free agency. A month later in 2013 the Red Sox claimed him. Now he is a Mariner. That is five organizations at the age of 26.
He has played 999 minor league games which sounds like a career minor leaguer if it were not for his age. He certainly has experience. His minor league career average is .262, but hit.303 for Syracuse in 2012 with 10 homers, 64 RBI’s. In 2013 he split time between Syracuse (.233) and Hartford in the Double A Eastern League (.253). In 31 games in 2014 for Portland in the Eastern League he hit .214 and in Triple A Pawtucket hit .286 in 74 games.
He is not a home run hitter-69 in 999 games-nor a base stealer-16 of 31 career attempts, but what he does is play a variety of positions. First base-26 games; third base-381 with 69 errors; shortstop 537-with 113 errors; and outfield 58, but only one in right field indicating he may not have a strong arm.
The point is he may be a younger version of Willie Bloomquist. Next season Willie will be 38 and is coming off an injury that limited him to 47 games. Rivero could be back up insurance should Willie have a bad spring, or he decides to retire, or is released. It is a move with nothing to lose and every position on every team needs a back up plan and Rivero may be the backup plan for a utility player. Then again he could be released if Seattle needs to clear a spot on their 40 man roster. Welcome to the life of an average minor leaguer.