Reds general manager Walt Jocketty has come up empty on various attempts to make a significant move this offseason and called it “very frustrating.”
“It’s all I’ve been working on, trying to improve our pitching,” Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “It’s been an extension of the winter meetings. But we’re still not close on anything”
There’s been a lot of speculation about the Reds shopping Yonder Alonso for pitching help and Fay specifically mentions James Shields of the Rays, Gio Gonzalez of the A’s, and Jair Jurrjens of the Braves as potential targets.
Jocketty also indicated that he’ll look into free agent outfielder Michael Cuddyer, who might already be close to signing with the Rockies, and could pursue non-tendered starter Joe Saunders. And he’s still working on a contract extension with Brandon Phillips, who’ll earn $12 million in his final season before free agency.
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?”