Lance Berkman hit his NL-best 23rd homer 452 feet Tuesday, making it the longest homer since the new Busch Stadium opened in 2006.
It was the 350th homer of Berkman’s career, and it tied him with Chili Davis for fourth all-time among switch-hitters. Only Chipper Jones (443), Eddie Murray (504) and Mickey Mantle (536) have hit more.
With the home run, he overtook Matt Kemp for the NL lead this season. Berkman, though, wasn’t picked to participate in next week’s Home Run Derby by captain Prince Fielder.
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?”