Dice-K tosses five scoreless innings in rehab outing

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Daisuke Matsuzaka kicked off a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday afternoon by allowing two hits over five scoreless innings. He issued one walk while hitting two batters and striking out three. He topped out at 93 mph on the radar gun, according to the Associated Press.

Dice-K was pulled after
throwing 73 pitches, though he was originally expected to throw 80-85 pitches. Despite leaving earlier than intended, Matsuzaka told Tom Layman of WEEI.com (through his interpreter) that he felt healthy and did not leave the outing due to fatigue.

“It was more technical issues,” Matsuzaka said. “I think I was trying to
be a little too fine with those pitches.”

Matsuzaka is expected to make at least two more rehab starts before possibly rejoining the Red Sox rotation later this month.
 

Report: Pirates sign Felipe Rivero to four-year contract extension

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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?”