The Reds, Francisco Cordero in contract talks

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The Reds hold a $12 million option on closer Francisco Cordero. They want him back. He wants to stay.  So it makes sense that they’re in talks with him right now over his future with the team.  A future that, given that they’re talking and not just exercising the option, probably means a two-year deal at a lower per annum.

Cordero has had a pretty darn good year for the Reds, with a 2.53 ERA and a 0.975 WHIP in 66 appearances.  While a $12 million outlay for a closer is a lot, the failure of Aroldis Chapman to build on his 2010 success likely has the Reds mindful of how valuable a sure-thing closer can be. And if they can break that money up over a couple of years it will be much easier to take.

Pirates activate Starling Marte

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is back in the lineup after the team reinstated him from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. Marte served the bare minimum on the DL after making a rapid recovery from the right oblique strain that sidelined him several weeks ago.

Prior to landing on the disabled list, the 29-year-old outfielder was off to a strong start. He slashed a robust .308/.366/.503 with six home runs, 10 stolen bases and an .869 OPS in 175 plate appearances with the team. This is the first time he’s dealt with an oblique issue, and the first DL stint he’s served since he suffered a bout of back tightness in 2016. While he has yet to prove he can bounce back to his pre-injury production levels, his quick recovery bodes well for a successful return to major-league play.

In a corresponding move, outfielder Jose Osuna was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. The move came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Pirates elected to retain top prospect outfielder Austin Meadows rather than the more established Osuna. Meadows was recalled from Triple-A in the wake of Marte’s injury and has only played seven games at the major league level so far, but he’s already made a strong impression: he went 13-for-29 with three home runs, two stolen bases and five RBI since his call-up on May 18.