Red Sox bring back outfielder Ryan Sweeney on minor league contract

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Fresh off the news of Ryan Kalish’s latest shoulder surgery, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that the Red Sox have brought back outfielder Ryan Sweeney on a minor league deal. He’ll also receive an invite to spring training.

Sweeney, who turns 28 next month, batted .260/.303/.373 with zero homers, 16 RBI and a .675 OPS in 63 games with Boston in 2012. His season came to an early end in late July after he injured his left hand by punching a door at Fenway Park. The injury eventually required season-ending surgery.

With Kalish out of the mix, Sweeney will serve as insurance for the outfield during spring training. Per Bradford, he has the ability to elect free agency if he doesn’t make the Opening Day roster.

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?”