After the Diamondbacks surprisingly slithered in to sign Cody Ross to a three-year, $26 million deal over the weekend, the general feeling was that they would trade one of their outfielders. Not much has changed on that front over the Christmas holiday.
One person familiar with the Diamondbacks’ thinking told CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman that “someone will go.” The implication here is that Justin Upton, Jason Kubel and Gerardo Parra are all potentially available via trade. However, Heyman hears that the D-Backs would prefer to keep Parra because of his defense. It also helps that he’s cheap and remains under team control through 2015.
There are still quite a few teams who could be in the market for an outfielder, including the Rangers, Yankees, Phillies, Mets, Braves and Rays. The Rangers have been mentioned most frequently in trade talks for Upton this offseason, but general manager Jon Daniels has reportedly been reluctant to part with Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar in a potential deal.
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.