Astros and Chris Carter avoid arbitration

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Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Astros and DH Chris Carter have avoided arbitration with a one-year deal worth $4.175 million. Carter was eligible for arbitration for the first of four years.

Carter, 28, had a breakout season for the Astros in 2014, batting .227/.308/.491 with 37 home runs and 88 RBI in 572 plate appearances. Part of his offensive success can be attributed to striking out 30 fewer times than he did in 2013 in a comparable amount of PA’s.

Carter was taken by the White Sox in the 15th round of the 2005 draft. He went to the Diamondbacks in the Carlos Quentin deal in December 2007 and shortly thereafter went to the Athletics (along with Carlos Gonzalez and Brett Anderson) in the Dan Haren trade. The Astros acquired him in February 2013 in the Jed Lowrie trade.

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?”