MLB notebook: Pirates sign Rivero to four-year deal

Reuters

Not everyone is trying to leave the rebuilding Pittsburgh Pirates, as the team announced Thursday that it signed closer Felipe Rivero to a four-year, $22.5 million contract extension.

The agreement for the 26-year-old left-hander runs through 2021 and includes club options for 2022-23, according to multiple reports. Rivero is slated to make $2.5 million this season, $4 million next year, $5.25 million in 2020 and $7.25 million in 2021. Each club option is $10 million, with team buyout options at $1 million for 2022 and $500,000 for 2023, and the deal also includes a $2 million signing bonus.

Rivero, who finished 5-3 with a 1.67 ERA and 21 saves last season, signed with the club after controversial trades that sent ace pitcher Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros and former National League MVP outfielder Andrew McCutchen to the San Francisco Giants.

--The New York Mets and Adrian Gonzalez finalized a one-year deal that will pay the veteran first baseman the major league minimum of $545,000 in 2018.

Gonzalez was released by the Atlanta Braves last month from a contract that guaranteed him $21.5 million this year.

The 35-year-old played just 71 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017, the first time he didn't appear in at least 156 games since 2005. He hit .242 with a .287 on-base percentage, a .355 slugging percentage, three home runs and 30 RBIs and spent most the season on the disabled list because of a herniated back disk.

--The Washington Nationals finalized their two-year, $7 million contract with free agent utility man Howie Kendrick. A deal between the sides was reported earlier this week.

Kendrick will make $3 million this year and $4 million in 2019 and can earn up to an additional $1.1 million each season in performance incentives based on plate appearances. The Nationals acquired Kendrick, 34, from the Philadelphia Phillies on July 28 last season, and he batted. 293 in 52 regular-season games.

--Major League Baseball is prepared to add new rules to speed up games in 2018 even if the players union doesn't sign off on the changes, ESPN reported.

With pace-of-game talks between MLB and the players' association stalled, commissioner Rob Manfred is prepared to institute a 20-second pitch clock, sources told the network. MLB may also put a restriction on catcher mound visits in 2018.

Any rules changes require the approval of MLB owners, who will hold their quarterly meetings Feb. 1 in Los Angeles. MLB games averaged three hours, 6 minutes last season, setting a record.

--The Minnesota Twins hired former starting pitcher Jim Kaat as a special assistant, the team announced.

Kaat will engage in various Twins community and business initiatives both in Minnesota as well as Southwest Florida, where the team plays its spring training ball in Fort Myers.

The 79-year-old Kaat pitched 25 seasons in the major leagues, including 15 with the Twins/Senators franchise. He is the Twins' all-time leader in wins (189) and innings pitched (2,959 1/3) and was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame in 2001.

--Field Level Media

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