Kevin Kouzmanoff fails to make Royals, sent to minors

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Kevin Kouzmanoff spent part of last season at Triple-A and he’ll begin this season back in the minors, as the Royals sent him down as part of their latest round of cuts.

Kouzmanoff hasn’t been the same since the Padres traded him in January of 2010, which is odd because calling pitcher-friendly Petco Park home in San Diego always hurt his raw production quite a bit.

He was traded to the A’s and hit just .242 with a .666 OPS in 189 games, was even worse in limited action with the Rockies after that, and couldn’t win a spot on the Royals’ bench this spring.

He’s still just 30 years old and Kouzmanoff crushed Triple-A pitching last year, but at this point he fits best as a platoon corner infielder and the Royals weren’t going to bench Eric Hosmer or Mike Moustakas versus lefties.

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?”