This comes as a bit of surprise. But not really.
Tim Kurkjian of ESPN.com is reporting that Bobby Valentine has pulled himself out of the running for the Marlins’ managerial vacancy.
Valentine gave no reason for his decision, only saying that he has “decided to go in another direction,” but it’s safe to assume that he felt disrespected by the organization when he was not named Fredi Gonzalez’s replacement in June. The Marlins engaged in serious talks with Bobby V at that time and a deal seemed close, but Edwin Rodriguez was named interim skipper instead.
Valentine will be courted by the Mariners and Blue Jays this winter and maybe the Mets, once they figure out a new general manager. He has options, in other words, and would rather head to a club that really wants him than one that operates in an indecisive manner.
Former Phillies skipper Jim Fregosi, former D’Backs bench coach Po Porter and Yankees bench coach Tony Pena are believed to be candidates for the job in south Florida. Padres bench coach Ted Simmons and Dodgers minor league manager Tim Wallach have also been linked to the Fish.
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?”