Nationals expected to bring Jim Riggleman back next season

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They have yet to make it official, but Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that “there are strong indications emerging from the organization” that Jim Riggleman will return as Nationals manager next season.

“We haven’t announced a final call, but we’ve made a definite decision,”
General Manager Mike Rizzo said tonight. “We haven’t made an
announcement to him or to the public.”

The interim tag was removed when Riggleman signed a two-year contract last November, but the Nationals have the option to buy out the remainder of his contract for $100,000.

Entering Saturday’s action, Riggleman has led the Nationals to a 95-127 record (.427) since taking over for Manny Acta last July. There are going to be many managerial openings within the next few weeks, but don’t expect Washington to be one of the musical chairs.

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?”