Bud Selig takes Tony La Russa’s side on the Cueto/Greinke All-Star controversy

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This should not be terribly surprising given that La Russa and Selig have a pretty close relationship as far as these things go, but for what it’s worth, the Commissioner has La Russa’s back on the Zack Greinke and Johnny Cueto snubs:

“Well let me just say this, Tony will answer all questions about his team. But you look at the list of pitchers, and I went over that with Tony, and I think in the end there were a lot of pitchers available. And I think in the end, they picked their strongest staffs.

I guess I’m most curious about the “I went over that with Tony” line. Really? Selig goes over the All-Star rosters himself with the managers?  I can’t decide what I think of that. I sorta want to like it, and it certainly ties in with what we know of Selig’s genuine, almost fan-like interest in the sport he runs. But I’m also kind of surprised that he takes the time to do that.  Oh well.

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?”