The Giants decided to hold off on activating Cody Ross on Tuesday, but they’ll make the move Wednesday and the writing appears to be on the wall for Brandon Belt.
Belt was excluded from the Giants lineup for a second straight day Tuesday, as the team is again using Aubrey Huff at first base. Nate Schierholtz is playing right field, but he’s merely keeping the seat warm for Ross, who has been on the DL Since the start of the season with a calf strain.
Belt drove in three runs in his second major league game back on April 1, but he’s without an RBI the last two weeks and he’s hitting .196/.305/.275 overall. Plus, the Giants have suffered defensively while using Huff in the outfield and Belt at first base.
It’s not a total loss, though. Belt figures to play the outfield pretty regularly in Triple-A, and he’ll be in line for a long look in left field if Pat Burrell goes into one of his patented lengthy slumps.
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?”