Yunel Escobar quietly returned last night. There’s a story about it in The Globe and Mail.
Interesting tidbits: (a) a meeting with the head of You Can Play, which promotes equality and respect for athletes of all sexual orientations; and (b) Escobar catching the ceremonial first pitch from David Testo, an openly gay soccer player.
Also of note: comments from a gay college distance runner of Cuba descent who says that, yes, “Tu ere maricone” is offensive, even within a Spanish speaking community, contrasted with comments from Omar Vizquel who says that while you don’t say that stuff to English speakers, it’s not considered offensive in Spanish. Which … doesn’t exactly match up.
Oh well. I’m guessing that unless Escobar is an absolute idiot, he’s not gonna get caught up in this kind of thing again.
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?”