By Eric Hagman

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PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed their bullpen ace Felipe Rivero to a long-term contract. The 26 year old lefthander is guaranteed $22 million over the next four seasons. Club options in 2022 and 2023 are $10 million each.

To say Rivero is excited might be an understatement.

Rivero, whose sister Prescilla helped negotiate the deal, said he stayed out of the talks.

“It’s not about the money,” Rivero told reporters Thursday. “It’s not about getting more. I just want to focus on helping the team as much as I can right now.”

The signing follows the trades of pitcher Gerrit Cole and outfielder Andrew McCutchen. Rivero said he was caught off guard by the moves, believing the two players would remain with the Pirates.

General manager Neal Huntington said the sides were able to find a common ground with the ball club gaining cost certainty and Rivero getting guaranteed money.

Huntington also responded to claims from Pirates fans and some in the media that the team does not intend to be competitive in 2018.

“There’s a lot of false narrative out there about when we are looking to compete again,” Huntington said. “We’re looking to compete again this year.”

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