Angel Pagan is finally ready to return to the Giants

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After numerous delays in his recovery from a bulging disk in his lower back Giants center fielder Angel Pagan is finally ready to come off the disabled list and is expected to rejoin the lineup Thursday.

Pagan hasn’t played for the Giants since mid-June, but appeared in a pair of minor-league rehab games at Triple-A to prepare for his return.

He was having a strong season before being shut down, hitting a career-high .307 with three homers, 11 steals, and a .767 OPS in 63 games. San Francisco has used Gregor Blanco as the primary center fielder in his absence, but the 33-year-old Pagan figures to take back the position and resume leading off.

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?”