Indians sign reliever Robinson Tejeda to minor-league deal

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Cleveland added some bullpen depth by signing right-hander Robinson Tejeda to a minor-league contract, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.

His deal includes an invitation to spring training, where the 29-year-old Tejeda will compete for a middle relief role.

Tejeda spent most of last season in the minors and saw his velocity drop while battling shoulder problems, but if healthy he’s shown the ability to be a quality late-inning option.

From 2008-2010 he posted a 3.65 ERA and 188 strikeouts in 180 innings, making up for poor control by missing tons of bats with a fastball that clocked in at 93-95 miles per hour.

He averaged just 90.2 mph last season, but for a no-risk, low-cost flier Tejeda is a nice pickup for the Indians.

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.