The Angels have added to their depth at catcher, agreeing to terms on a one-year contract with veteran Rene Rivera, the club announced Tuesday.
Rivera, 34, split last season between the Mets and Cubs. He’s played parts of nine seasons in the Major Leagues since making his debut with the Mariners in 2004.
Rivera is expected to compete for the backup job behind Martin Maldonado, who won the American League Gold Glove Award at the position in his first season with the Angels in 2017. Juan Graterol and Carlos Perez will also be in the mix for the backup job.
Known for his strong arm behind the plate, Rivera has thrown out 36.4 percent of attempted base-stealers in his big league career. Among all active catchers (minimum 3,000 innings caught), Rivera ranks second in caught-stealing percentage, behind only Yadier Molina (41.2 percent).
Rivera hit .252 with 10 home runs and 35 RBIs in 74 games last season. He’s a career .220 hitter over 473 MLB games. Rivera has also played for the Padres, Twins and Rays.
In a corresponding roster move, left-hander Nate Smith was designated for assignment. Smith underwent shoulder surgery in December and will not pitch in 2018.