In an offseason when players are making a lot more money than we thought they might, a guy with a of recent injuries who is probably only in the market for a one year, make-good deal might be worth the risk. Exhibit A: Josh Johnson, who is said to have interest from three or four teams.
Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review was told by Johnson’s agent that the Pirates are one of the finalists to sign his client. The other teams aren’t known, but he has been linked in reports to the Giants and Padres, presumably on the basis of taking the “head to the NL West and remake your career in pitcher-friendly parks” cure.
Johnson had a pretty crappy 2013, with a 2-8 record and 6.20 ERA in 81.1 IP. But his velocity was fine and his strikeout rate was actually good when he was healthy, so he’s definitely worth taking a chance on, right?
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?”