Yankees, Orioles among teams interested in Ricky Nolasco

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Last week Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reported that the Marlins have told teams relievers Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn “are not available” in trade talks. That didn’t really make much sense to me, but it did make sense that the Marlins are very willing to entertain offers on Ricky Nolasco.

And now Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports that “the Orioles and Yankees are leading the parade of teams that already have interest” in Nolasco, who has a 3.80 ERA and 72/22 K/BB ratio in 88 innings after four consecutive underwhelming seasons.

Nolasco is a 30-year-old impending free agent with a 4.44 career ERA, so it’s unlikely that the Marlins could get a whole lot for him, but since they have no real use for veterans at this point a mid-level prospect or two might be an acceptable enough return.

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.