Mark Prior’s latest comeback attempt involved working as a reliever at Triple-A for the Reds, but he’s been on the disabled list with a shoulder injury since late April and today they released him.
Since moving to the bullpen full time last season Prior has 47 strikeouts in 35 innings at Triple-A, but that also comes with 7.0 walks per nine innings and a 4.15 ERA.
Prior is still just 32 years old, but he hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2006. To put that in some context, Prior’s teammates that season included Greg Maddux, Tony Womack, John Mabry, and Phil Nevin. Oh, and Carlos Marmol was a 23-year-old rookie starting pitcher.
The good news is that everyone who wrote a “Mark Prior is making a comeback” story this spring can just copy and paste it for next year, assuming he doesn’t call it a career.
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?”