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01/17/2008 11:09 PM ET
Angels agree to terms with outfielder Juan Rivera
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ANAHEIM, CA -- The defending AL West Champion Angels Thursday agreed to terms on a contract for the 2008 season with outfielder Juan Rivera, thus avoiding salary arbitration. The announcement was made by Angels' General Manager Tony Reagins. Per club policy, no terms of the contract will be announced.

Rivera, 29, missed all but one month of the 2007 season while recovering from surgery on a broken left tibia suffered Dec. 22, 2006 in a Winter League game in Venezuela. In 14 games (10 starts) last season, he batted .279 (12/43) with one double, two home runs and eight RBI.

Originally signed as a free agent by the New York Yankees April 5, 1996, Rivera appeared in the major leagues with the Yankees (2001-03) and Expos (2004) before being traded (along with infielder Maicer Izturis) to the Angels in exchange for outfielder Jose Guillen, Nov. 10, 2004.

A native of Guarenas, Venezuela, he owns a .291 average (434/1492) with 88 doubles, two triples, 60 home runs and 233 RBI in 466 major league games.

Highlights of Rivera's career include: matching the Angels' club record home runs in July with 11 in 2006; connecting for three multi-homer games in the span of 11 contests from July 4-18, 2006; leading the AL with 13 outfield assists in 2006, tying for the major league lead with 14 outfield assists while with the Expos in 2004; and hitting two home runs in an inning for the fifth time in Expos' history (June 19, 2004 vs. CWS) to become the first and only player in Olympic Stadium history and 11th player in ML history to do so.

Following the signing of Rivera, the Angels have three arbitration-eligible players unsigned: right-handed pitcher Francisco Rodriguez, infielder Casey Kotchman and infielder Maicer Izturis.

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