Pirates outfielder Starling Marte took a pitch off his helmet last Friday night. A concussion was initially ruled out — the Bucs were instead calling it “head trauma” — but now there’s this …
Marte also suffered a head injury in late June when he collided with the knee of Rays infielder Sean Rodriguez while trying to steal second base, so it’s best to play this one safe. The speedy 25-year-old has posted a disappointing .255/.328/.385 batting line in 86 games this season after batting .280/.343/.441 in 135 games last season. Marte has tallied 74 stolen bases in 268 career games at the major league level.
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?”