From the Mets’ official Twitter account comes word that the team agreed to terms on minor league contracts Wednesday evening with second baseman Brad Emaus and outfielder Fred Lewis.
Emaus was selected by the Mets in the 11th round of last December’s Rule 5 Draft and had a shot at claiming starting second base duties heading into the 2011 season. But that plan ultimately fell flat and he was eventually designated for assignment. The 26-year-old is doubtful to suddenly prove capable of handling a big league job.
Lewis, a 31-year-old speedster, was released by the Indians on April 2 after failing to win an Opening Day roster spot. Like Emaus, he will merely function as organizational depth this summer for New York.
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.