Pablo Sandoval has a bone spur in his right elbow, but he expects to be fine for Opening Day

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From CSNBayArea.com’s Andrew Baggarly:

Third baseman Pablo Sandoval had an MRI exam that ruled out major structural damage in his sore right elbow, and the Giants remain optimistic that their World Series MVP will start on opening day.

But Sandoval’s arm will bear watching all season, head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner said. In addition to ulnar neuritis, Sandoval has a bone spur in his elbow that appears similar to the spur that had shown up on tests since 2009.

The bone spur is not causing Sandoval any pain right now, so it doesn’t need to be surgically removed.

“Most of these guys have spurs, and he has a chronic one,” Groeschner told Baggarly on Tuesday night.

Sandoval hasn’t thrown for a couple of days and could remain in shutdown mode for the rest of this week as a precautionary measure. He played winter ball and was on Team Venezuela for the 2013 World Baseball Classic, so the Giants aren’t too worried about getting him more Cactus League at-bats. San Francisco opens its regular-season schedule on April 1 against the Dodgers. And Sandoval should be in the starting lineup.

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?”