Jim Hendry fired as Cubs GM

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So much for that vote of confidence last week, huh?

Jim Hendry has been fired as the Cubs general manager, reports David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com.  The termination is effective immediately. Kaplan reports that Hendry is currently meeting with the Cubs in the clubhouse, presumably being thanked by the players for all of those ridiculous contracts he handed out like so much candy.  Randy Bush is the interim GM.

Hendry has been on board since 2002. It has been a surprisingly long tenure for someone with such a poor track record.  The Cubs under his watch managed a decent season here or there, but they are currently hamstrung by bad contracts and poor roster construction.  With $30 million coming off the payroll after this season, it’s a fine time to give someone else a shot.  And that’s what Tom Ricketts is doing.

UPDATE: Hendry is currently speaking to the press, which you can see at CSNChicago.com.  Some crazy stuff going down. Hendry says that he was actually fired on July 22nd, but that he was held on to get through the trade deadline and the signing of draft picks.  If you’ll recall, the Cubs had a profoundly quiet deadline, moving no one of the many players many of us thought they would or at least should move.  Hendry just touched on that saying that “those moves are for the next guy.” Certainly explains a lot.

Also worth noting that Hendry is really, really emotional, crying through the presser. Ugh. I know a lot of Cubs fans were waiting for this day, but there isn’t much joy to be had here.

Rays acquire RHP Drew Smith from Tigers

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The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.

Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.

Yankees activate Didi Gregorius from the disabled list

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The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.

Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.

Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.