Injured Gavin Floyd calls bullpen session “a step in the right direction”

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On the disabled list with elbow problems for the second time this season, Gavin Floyd threw a 20-pitch bullpen session yesterday and called it “a step in the right direction.”

Scott Merkin of MLB.com reports that Floyd will throw another bullpen session Thursday, mixing in breaking balls along with fastballs, at which point the White Sox should have a much better idea if he can return this season.

Between disabled list stints Floyd started 24 games with a 4.55 ERA and 114/53 K/BB ratio in 138 innings to basically duplicate his career numbers, but since the All-Star break he has nearly as many walks (23) as strikeouts (22) in 35 innings.

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?”