The season continues to be a good one at the box office for Major League Baseball, as the league just announced that attendance is up seven percent over last year through the same number of games.
That’s an average of 2000 extra fans a game over last season. Overall, 21 of 30 teams have seen increases. Thirteen teams have already broke one million in attendance.
Guesses as to the reasons: more teams in contention, including teams that have not been as good in the past finally giving their fans a reason to show up. Also: way fewer rainouts this year, meaning way fewer sparsely-attended makeup games and better gameday walkup traffic due to the better weather.
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?”