It’s ridiculous. It’s absurd. But the Nationals are considering it. Here’s general manager Mike Rizzo:
“I think already he’s a leader of the club and kind of a pseudo-captain
already,” Rizzo said. “We’ve kicked around the premise of making
somebody the captain of the team, with a ‘C’ on their jersey. I haven’t
come to any conclusion. Zim, obviously, is the leader of the franchise.”
The whole idea of a captain is silly to begin with — and better reserved for the tradition of hockey, in my opinion — but for Rizzo to hedge about who the captain would be is just plain stupid. What, having a hard time deciding between Zimmerman and Alberto Gonzalez?
On a related note, Bill Ladson of MLB.com took an informal poll of his Twitter followers the other day when the idea was originally floated about. Out of 21 polled, 11 felt that Zimmerman deserved the honor, while nine felt he was too young or the Nationals didn’t need a special leader. One said it didn’t matter. Coincidentally, that person is also a genius.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Pirates will sign reliever Felipe Rivero to a four-year contract extension that includes two club options. The total value of the deal is believed to be $22 million and each club option is worth $10 million.
Rivero, 26, did not come to an agreement with the Pirates to avoid arbitration in his first year of eligibility ahead of last Friday’s deadline. He requested a $2.9 million salary for the 2018 season while the Pirates countered at $2.4 million. This extension will cover all four years of Rivero’s arbitration eligibility and the two club options can cover his first two years of free agency as well.
Rivero was one of baseball’s best relievers last season, finishing with 21 saves, a 1.67 ERA, and an 88/20 K/BB ratio in 75 1/3 innings. The Pirates acquired him from the Nationals along with minor leaguer Taylor Hearn ahead of the 2016 non-waiver trade deadline in the Mark Melancon deal.
Presumably, Rivero’s extension was in the works before he knew anything about the Andrew McCutchen trade. He made a couple of tweets following this afternoon’s news. In one, he used only the “facepalm” emoji. The other was a .gif of The Office character Jim Halpert yelling, “What is going on?”