Brett Anderson to return from injury, start Game 3 for A’s

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As soon as Oakland included Brett Anderson on the ALDS roster despite not pitching since injuring his oblique on September 19 it was clear they planned for him to start a game against Detroit and sure enough he’ll get the call for Game 3 tomorrow night.

And if the A’s are able to extend the series with a victory in the Anderson-Anibal Sanchez matchup Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that they’d turn to Game 162 starter A.J. Griffin for Game 4.

Before the oblique injury Anderson had pitched very well in his return from Tommy John elbow surgery, starting six games with a 2.57 ERA and 25/7 K/BB ratio in 35 innings. Relying on him for what is truly a must-win game is risky simply because he hasn’t faced big-league hitters in three weeks, but he reported no problems following a bullpen session Saturday.

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?”