Yonder Alonso’s strong showing offensively and poor showing defensively led to some speculation that the Reds might clear a spot for him in the lineup by trading reigning MVP Joey Votto, but general manager Walt Jocketty put an end to those rumors today.
“We haven’t talked about it,” Jocketty told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. “I wish that people would stop writing it. Why would we trade one of the best players in the game? We’re trying to win.”
And he’s right.
Alonso projects as a very good hitter and valuable all-around player, but Votto is one of the half-dozen best hitters in baseball, just turned 28 years old, and is signed through 2013. If the Reds don’t think Votto and Alonso can co-exist in the same lineup defensively then they should be looking to trade Alonso.
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?”