When Pittsburgh Pirates shipped off stars Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen to Houston Astros and San Francisco Giants respectively, it looked like the team is heading to a long rebuild. But, the Pirates are insisting that the thing they are doing is a “part of a roster reset”, and decided to keep some players like closer Felipe Rivero. The 26-year-old left-hander and the Pirates signed a $22 million, four-year contract on Thursday. The contract could be worth $41 million and go for six years if the team picks up the two-year options included in the deal.
Rivero, who was traded to the Pirates from the Washington Nationals in 2016, said that this contract makes him relaxed for the next few years.
“I want to be relaxed the next few years and not have arbitration cases,” – said Rivero. “I just want to help the team as much as I can right now. When I got traded they … tried to make you feel like you’re at home. That’s why I wanted to stay for a few more years.“
Felipe Rivero went 5-3 with a 1.67 ERA since he became the team’s closer in May 2017. He also converted 21 of 23 save opportunities.
Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said that the team is now feeling more confident knowing that Rivero will stay for years to come.
“It frees him up to just go pitch, frees him up to just go do his thing,” – said Huntington. “He doesn’t have to worry about a lot of the things that players worry about.“
Huntington also discussed the possibility of the Pirates being a very bad team before getting better, saying those kinds of ideas are “false narrative.” He said the team will stay dedicated to winning in the upcoming seasons and try to bounce back from a disappointing 2017 season when the Pirates had 75-87 record.