Phillies place Roy Oswalt on disabled list, release J.C. Romero

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Roy Oswalt is worried about his back problems forcing him into retirement, so it’s no surprise that the Phillies have placed him on the disabled list before even waiting for the results of the MRI exam scheduled for Monday.

There seems to be a legitimate fear that he’ll never pitch again and if he does come back it certainly won’t be within two weeks, so the DL stint was a no-brainer. Scott Mathieson replaced Oswalt on the roster.

Along with putting Oswalt on the shelf the Phillies also released J.C. Romero, who predictably passed through waivers unclaimed after they designated him for assignment last week. Between his $1.35 million salary and disastrous numbers versus right-handed hitters Romero simply wasn’t worth a waiver claim and will probably have to work his way back to the majors on a minor-league contract. He’s merely a left-handed specialist at this point.

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?”