Pirates and Felipe Rivero Reportedly Agree on Contract Extension

Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Pittsburgh Pirates and closer Felipe Rivero have agreed on a four-year contract extension with two club options. Rosenthal believes the deal is for $22 M over the four years and each option is $10 M. As noted in the tweet below, this covers all four arbitration years for Rivero, plus two years of free agency.

Rivero and the Pirates couldn’t agree to an arbitration deal on Friday before the deadline, with the Pirates offering $2.4 M and Rivero asking for $2.9 M. At that time, it was taking a long time for the news to come out about whether he filed for arbitration or not, so the speculation was that the two sides were discussing an extension. That is something that Rivero mentioned last month in an interview as well, so it appears that was true.

Bob Nightengale has the exact figures, which includes a signing bonus:

Nightengale also has some incentives that are built into the contract, so Rivero could make much more than the $22 M plus options.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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Pirates could have saved tons of money just going year to year on Rivero. He may not get 50 saves over the next 2 seasons combined. With that being the overwhelming factor in closers arbitration pay, they may have screwed themselves.

Arik Florimonte

on the other hand, if he stays the closer, he’d likely cost $35M+. I think it’s decent value. I still think they should consider dealing him though. His most surplus value is in 2018 and 2019, when the Bucs probably aren’t going to be contending.


I was offhandedly trying to say that he won’t get the opportunity to save 25 games because the Pirates are going to be bad.


Those numbers don’t add up to 22million. Only if you ad the 1 million buyout.


Exactly. The final amount reported is guaranteed money, so if he gets bought out and the options are not exercised, he’s guaranteed $22M.


This is a VERY team friendly deal……making him very easy to trade if so desired. Now he can get every save, get his value up, without having to worry about any arbitration numbers


Hard to complain about this deal but it is so contrarian. NH rarely, if ever, invests serious $$$ in the bullpen. Now he becomes the face of the franchise – not that I am complaining as the Nightmare brings it.


Relative to other relievers of his ability, this deal is hardly investing big money in the bullpen. For reference, it will be 2021, the last guaranteed year before the two options, before Rivero makes more in one season than Daniel Hudson will this season.


Well, at least this is some good news.


Another jump the gun to save money we hope deal. Yes he was good and I hope it continues but it’s another Polanco, Marte, wing and a prayer extension. Lefty power arm that is a huge TJ risk not the best way to spend considering we have him under complete control now cheaper. I promise you this is just a smoke and mirrors deal and will end up a failure. Only early buy that worked was Cutch and did it really work now that we dumped him early and are still paying part of his salary to play in a Giants uniform? The Huntington regime ends in play in game losses and now back in the rabbit hole for 20 years or so. Gut the FO and let some other group have a chance, this group has zero street cred left.

eric i

How exactly has Martes extension failed? He’s been one of the best left fielders in baseball. Jury is still out on Polancos. I still think if he could stay healthy he still has the ability to provide lots of value.


I could play left field for the Pirates given the right drug mix. You can have him. Not my kind of player.

Thomas H

No. You couldn’t.


Drugs don’t really enhance performance, they keep the player on the field so they have more opportunites to make plays.


Steroids don’t make you stronger than your body could normally be so you are both more powerful and faster? Are you saying that Barry Bonds hit all those home runs only cause he had more opportunity? Dude really?


Steriods don’t help them hit a 95mph fastball any better. There’s no ammount of steroids that turn just anyone into a Mlb star. Even the benefits are small, the added advantage is cheating.

Harry S

Well his arm should not be overworked the next 3 years. Not much need for a closer on a team that loses 90+ games.

dr dng

With so much dedicated to this contract,
will the Pirates be sure that they do not overwork
the arm over the next couple of years?

Michael Alexander

Seems like a pretty excellent deal for the Pirates

Brian Bernard

Bob Nutting Will get none of my money in 2018 .
Can’t say it any plainer than that.


Dilly effing dilly

Scott K

If one is a baseball fan, as I presume you are by paying for this content, than why would you punish yourself by not going to a game?

Furthermore, the lower attendance is, the lower payroll is, consequently, the lower in the standings the Pirates are.

Lastly, Bob Nutting doesn’t need your money. He has plenty of his own.

Brian Bernard

He can pay for a contender again then before My family will show any faith.


Well this is a welcome surprise after two underwhelming trades. Curious to see if Harrison goes next. He has 2 yrs on contract but also two somewhat reasonable option years. He could go either way.

Jonathan C

we have a great reliever at a good value…and little else around him. i don’t really see the point of keeping a guy like rivero if we aren’t going to be competitive.


Aside from this being an insane bargain. It should give Hurdle more leeway to play him in higher pressure situations in any of the late innings assuming another closer caliber guy emerges.


offseason redeemed!


If he only is only brought in to hold leads he probably won’t be used much this year !


Nice last couple of days for the Pirates. Shows that the team is moving in the right direction.


His arm will be protected from limited use the next few years.

Michael Zylinski

The question not being asked, did he sign before or after Cutch was dealt

IC Bob

Now we can trade him because he cost to much for us

eric i

This a a steal for the Pirates. Good for them and Felipe. But this is beginning to be alot to take in at one time! The ups and downs today is like watching the Steelers game again.


Metric world rejoice the Pirates will be the 1st team to go with 12 relievers and 0 starters….


And make no mistake, this deal increases the likelihood of Rivero being dealt after next season: top reliever on a VERY friendly long contract? NH is hoping for the Chapman haul at some point.

IC Bob

More then likely we will get the Giants 7 best prospect


NH is simply trying to corner the bullpen arm market in hopes of shining them up and selling them off to build thru reliever trades. It’s the only semi-consistent trade market.


My goodness! This is almost laughably good for the Pirates.

Who negotiated on Rivero’s side?!?




He fired Boras I think. The 10 million options are insane even if he regresses slightly.


Rivero should qualify for a charitable contributions deductible immediately.


Not only does this lock him into arb rates that are roughly 60% of what he’d be projected to earn, he *also* gives *team options* (!) for *two* FA years at middle reliever prices. With minuscule buyouts!


He’s worth 10 mil if he produces half the value a year that he did last year. I can’t wait to see the big time free agent the Pirates sign with the money they have saved this week. (I can sarcasm to NMR)


I wonder how much this will increase his trade value….


It might be a little junky to turn around and trade him but the value probably ensures they won’t.


But why, exactly? This doesn’t preclude a trade, but it suggests one isn’t coming, and with all the bullpen arms they’ve brought in, I’m fuzzy on the direction they’re taking if they’re not trading him a back filling. Unless they have designs on surprising us with signings of guys like Lynn and Cain.


Why Lorenzo Cain?


Because he’s real good.

Bill G

John less than 5% chance he stays 4 years much less 6. When we tank at trade deadline NH will push all that “control” and receive 3 T-ball grads with 18 years of control each. Rivers is gone soon.


Oh, no I get that. And with that offer on the table, they were right to sign him. I just don’t see why they were trying to in the first place. It’s philosophically dissonant from the rest of the off season.

Michael Alexander

Think this might also increase his total surplus value. There’s some health risk, but extra cost certainty and control. He doesn’t have to pitch at his current level to still have surplus value on the deal.

John W

Plan your payroll… pirates know what they can afford to keep things under 80m in 2019-21 now


Well, let’s hope we have the lead headed into the 9th someday in the next six years.


Better yet, as soon as we get the lead put Rivero in and hope he can go 6 plus innings


He has 3 above pitches, just let him start! (I’m ready for the onslaught)


Awkward timing


Purposeful timing. They are telling the fans they are putting McCutchen’s money to use. Helps PR to offset the low return on prospects.




22 likes – coincidence?


And good luck with it meaning much today


I agree.

Pirates Prospects Daily



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