Red Sox hope to have new manager in place by Thanksgiving

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According to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, new Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said today that he hopes to have a new manager in place by Thanksgiving.

The Red Sox began the interview process today by welcoming Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin to Fenway Park. Mackanin, 60, has only served in an interim manager capacity with the Reds and Pirates, but told reporters following today’s interview that he is ready for the challenge of an official gig.

“I want the job because it’s something I’ve wanted for a while,” Mackanin said. “Coming up through the minor leagues, having played in the big leagues, it’s the top of the industry. It’s a premiere franchise. The way I look at it is, who wouldn’t want to manage the Boston Red Sox?”

Cherington expects to meet with “five or six” candidates before making a decision. Brewers hitting coach and former Red Sox third base coach Dale Sveum, the only other confirmed candidate, is scheduled to interview on Wednesday.

Interestingly, Cherington also acknowledged that certain members of Terry Francona’s staff, presumably DeMarlo Hale or Tim Bogar, haven’t necessarily been ruled out for the job.

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.