Twins to place Josh Willingham on the disabled list

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Tyler Mason of FOX Sports North reports that the Twins will place outfielder Josh Willingham on the disabled list on Saturday. In a related move, they will call up reliever Michael Tonkin.

Willingham was hit in the left wrist with a Justin Masterson fastball on Sunday. X-rays came back negative and the Twins were initially hopeful that Willingham wouldn’t need to go on the disabled list. They’ll place him on the disabled list retroactively, so he could return to the lineup in a week if everything else goes according to plan.

Through his first 23 plate appearances to start the season, Willingham is hitting .294 with a .435 on-base percentage, though he hasn’t shown any power yet. The Twins will have to keep a watchful eye on Willingham in case the wrist problem hampers his power after he returns to the 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?”