General manager Neal Huntington admitted yesterday that it’s “very probable” starting catcher Chris Snyder will begin the season on the disabled list due to back soreness.
Pittsburgh unsuccessfully tried to dump Ryan Doumit and his contract all offseason and throughout spring training, but Snyder’s injury actually opens the door for him to see some early action if manager Clint Hurdle is willing to use him behind the plate.
Doumit could split time at catcher with Jason Jaramillo until Snyder returns and Jenifer Langosch reports that John Bowker will take the open roster spot while replacing Doumit as a backup outfielder.
And if Doumit gets off to a good start offensively while not looking like a complete mess defensively, perhaps the Pirates will have an easier time unloading his contract once Snyder returns.
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?”