The Brewers extended two more invitations to Major League Spring Training camp this week, signing catcher Mike Rivera and right-hander Robert Hinton to Minor League contracts that promise a locker in the big league clubhouse at Maryvale Baseball Park.
Rivera, 34, was a capable backup for the Brewers from 2006-09 but was let go after the 2009 season because he was eligible for salary arbitration. He signed with the Yankees and later with the Marlins, for whom he appeared in seven Major League games last season.
With Rivera back in the organization, it will be interesting to see what the Brewers do with George Kottaras, who couldn’t throw out opposing baserunners in 2010. Kottaras is still an affordable “zero to three” player for next season but he’s out of Minor League options.
Hinton, 26, has pitched the past seven seasons in the Brewers’ farm system. He was 4-4 with a 4.16 ERA in a 2010 season split between Double-A Huntsville and Triple-A Nashville.
The Brewers also re-signed Milwaukee native Chris Nowak to a Minor League contract that doesn’t include a big-league camp invite. The Waukesha North High School graduate finished last season at Double-A Huntsville.