Mets sign Aaron Laffey to minor league contract

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Aaron Laffey, who spent last season with the Blue Jays, has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Mets.

Laffey has pitched for four different teams in the past three seasons, splitting time between the bullpen and rotation, and the 27-year-old left-hander has a 4.38 career ERA in 474 innings.

That includes a 4.56 ERA in 101 innings for Toronto this year, although with a 48/37 K/BB ratio and 17 homers allowed he didn’t actually pitch as well as that decent ERA would suggest. Still, not a bad addition for depth.

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.