Alex Rodriguez hopes to return to starting lineup Saturday

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Alex Rodriguez is out of the starting lineup for the sixth straight game tonight as he continues to rest his sprained right thumb, but believes he could be back as soon as tomorrow.

According to Dave Hutchinson of the Newark Star-Ledger, Rodriguez felt good after testing his thumb this afternoon by participating in live batting practice and taking grounders.

“It feels pretty good,” he said before tonight’s game. “We had a good day today. We pretty much did everything. We hit live for the first time. I met with the training staff. We’re going to take at least one more day.”

Rodriguez originally injured the thumb in his first game back from knee surgery on August 21 and aggravated the injury during Sunday’s doubleheader against the Orioles. He would probably give it a go if this was a playoff situation, but the Wild-Card leading Yankees obviously have the luxury of resting him for now.

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?”