Edward Mujica entered this season as the Red Sox’s fallback plan at closer behind Koji Uehara, but 11 appearances later the 31-year-old right-hander has been designated for assignment.
Mujica wasn’t terrible, posting a 4.61 ERA and 8/3 K/BB ratio in 14 innings, but when combined with his underwhelming performance for Boston last season and declining raw stuff the Red Sox decided to cut bait on a pitcher owed $4.75 million as part of a two-year, $9 million deal.
Mujica posted some great strikeout-to-walk ratios and ERAs early in his career with the Padres, Marlins, and Cardinals, but he hasn’t topped 6.5 strikeouts per nine innings since 2011 and looks like a middle reliever at this point.
He’ll almost surely pass through waivers unclaimed.
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?”