Evan Longoria almost ready for rehab games

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Greg Luca of MLB.com provides the following update:

Evan Longoria took what manager Joe Maddon called a positive step forward during a pregame workout on Tuesday in Baltimore, giving hope that the third baseman could begin a rehab assignment during the team’s current nine-game road trip.

“He was pleased, and I was pleased watching him. Nice progress,” Maddon said. “He may be a little bit closer than you think to being out and doing something and coming back to us.”

Longoria has been on the disabled list since early May with a partially torn left hamstring. He was only supposed to miss 4-6 weeks, but he felt renewed discomfort in mid-June and has been delayed ever since.

The 26-year-old third baseman was batting .329/.433/.561 in 23 games before suffering the initial injury.

Tampa Bay entered play Tuesday with a 49-47 record, ranking third in the American League East standings.

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?”