Rockies reliever John Axford left spring training at the end of March as his son Jameson was hospitalized after being bitten by a rattlesnake. Axford rejoined the team and made his season debut on Wednesday, his only appearance of the season. The family medical emergency list allows players to be taken off of the active roster for a minimum of three days and a maximum of seven.
Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that Axford has been placed on the family medical emergency list. The Rockies have called up right-hander Scott Oberg from Triple-A Albuquerque to take the vacant spot on the 25-man roster. To make room for Oberg on the 40-man roster, infielder Charlie Culberson has been moved to the 60-day disabled list.
Groke has details of Jameson’s condition if you’re interested in reading about that. We at HardballTalk wish Jameson a speedy recovery and the Axford family strength during this difficult time.
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?”