I think the best thing about the Orioles pulling the rug out from under Grant Balfour is that the two teams who have expressed interest in him since that deal fell through — the Rays and now the Yankees, according to the New York Post’s Kevin Kernan — are both in the AL East, thereby giving Balfour ample opportunity to hit Orioles batters and bark up in the direction of the Orioles’ owners box as often as possible.
Balfour — who says, in no uncertain terms, that he’s healthy — posted a 2.35 ERA (154 ERA+) in his three years with Oakland while tallying 64 saves.
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?”