Endy Chavez’s one-year deal with Orioles worth $1.5 million

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Baltimore made Endy Chavez’s one-year contract official, announcing that he’ll get $1.5 million upfront and another $500,000 in potential incentives.

That’s more or less the going rate for a veteran fourth outfielder, which is the role Chavez will fill in 2012 after turning his career around by hitting .301 with five homers and a .749 OPS in 83 games for the Rangers.

Chavez performing that well again is unlikely, particularly at age 34, but his usual empty .275 batting average and good range make him a decent fit in the same role Felix Pie filled for the Orioles this past season.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.