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Tony La Russa joins the Red Sox as a special assistant

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The Boston Red Sox have hired Tony La Russa as a special assistant to General Manager Dave Dombrowski.

Dombrowski and La Russa go back 40 years, back when each of them were young men breaking into the executive world and managing world, respectively, in the White Sox organization. As such, it’s possible to view this as more of an advisor job as opposed to something that will involve La Russa in the day-to-day baseball operations decisions of the club. As we saw in Arizona this past year after he was stripped of most baseball operations authority, La Russa has shown that he can function in a lesser role than that to which he had become accustomed.

All of which is to say that the jokes and groans from Red Sox fans that came out after this news circulated last night are probably misplaced. Nothing he did in Arizona suggested that he should be running a team again, but in this instance I suspect Dombrowski merely gave his old friend, who had just left his last job, a place to land. If he can impart some of his considerable baseball insight to Alex Cora and others in the organization, all the better.

Braves claim Grant Dayton off waivers from Dodgers

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The Braves claimed lefty reliever Grant Dayton off waivers from the Dodgers, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Dayton, 29, underwent Tommy John surgery back in August and is almost certainly out for the entire 2018 season. The Braves, obviously, are making a longer-term play here by acquiring him, as he is under team control through 2022.

Over parts of two seasons in the majors, Dayton has a 3.42 career ERA with 59 strikeouts and 18 walks in 50 innings.