Rene Rivera Announces Retirement – MLB Trade Rumors

Longtime major league catcher Rene Rivera He took to Instagram to announce his retirement on Friday morning. “In June 2001, I had the opportunity to achieve one of my dreams, to sign as a professional baseball player.,” Rivera wrote. “21 years later, I thank God for the career he has allowed me to have. Today I would like to announce that I am retiring as a professional baseball player.

The 39-year-old thanks every organization he has played for. He also thanked his family, coaches, representatives and fans before calling it quits “ready for the next stage of (a) career.

The Mariners selected Rivera, a native of Puerto Rico, in the second round of the ’01 draft. He was in the majors a little more than three years later, debuting as a September call-up in 2004 not long after his 21st birthday. Rivera spent a few seasons as a depth catcher for Seattle, combining to appear in 53 MLB games over his first three years.

After the 2006 campaign, Rivera began a wandering path that would define his entire career. He was out of the majors completely between 2007-10, bouncing between different organizations’ upper minor affiliates and spending some time in independent ball. Rivera returned to the majors with the Twins in 2011 for a 45-game stint and played the following year in Triple-A.

With a brief showing with the Padres in 2013, Rivera was primed to likely break through as San Diego’s top catcher at age 30 the following year. He connected on 11 home runs over a career-high 329 plate appearances during the ’14 season, hitting .252/.319/.432. The following offseason, San Diego sent him to the Rays in a blockbuster three-team move Will Myers to Southern California, Steven Souza to Tampa Bay and then-expect Trea Turner to Washington.

Rivera played in a personal-high 110 games with Tampa Bay but was unable to recapture his previous success at the plate. He hit .178/.213/.275 over 319 trips to the plate with the Rays and was released before the following season. He quickly signed with the Mets and would see a decent amount of action in Queens in the latter part of his career. Rivera played in 65 games for the Mets in 2016 before logging 74 contests between New York and the Cubs the following year. He split the 2018 campaign with the Angels and Braves, then returned to the Mets as a depth catcher from 2019-20. Rivera’s last major league action came in 2021, when he pitched in 25 games between the Indians and Nationals.

Although Rivera was rarely an offensive contributor, his strong defensive reputation earned him time and again opportunities. He ultimately logged parts of 13 MLB campaigns over a professional career spanning two decades, serving at the MLB level for ten different teams. Rivera played in 542 major league contests, hitting .221/.273/.354 with 43 home runs over 1629 plate appearances. He spent nearly 4000 innings behind the plate, posting consistently strong marks from pitch framing metrics and slashing an impressive 36.5% of attempted basemen.

MLBTR congratulates Rivera on his long run in the professional ranks and wishes him the best in his post-playing endeavors.

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