Earlier today, second baseman Robinson Cano signed with the Mariners on a ten-year, $240 million contract, leaving the Yankees out in the cold with an infield that includes the embattled Alex Rodriguez, the hobbled Derek Jeter, the recovering Mark Teixeira, and the recently-signed Kelly Johnson. Now that they don’t have to set aside space for Cano, however, the Yankees are free to pursue any free agent they want, and that is exactly what they are doing according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Nightengale tweets that the Yankees are “in on everyone”, citing outfielders Shin-Soo Choo and Carlos Beltran, as well as infielders Stephen Drew and Omar Infante.
Nightengale also writes that trade rumors involving the Yankees and current Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips are “inevitable”. There has been some off-and-on speculation that the Reds will move Phillips by the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday.
At ESPN, Andrew Marchand writes that if Japanese pitching star Masahiro Tanaka is posted, the Yankees could get involved in the bidding.
So far, the Yankees have signed shortstop Brendan Ryan (two years, $5 million), catcher Brian McCann (five years, $85 million), outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury (seven years, $153 million), and starter Hiroki Kuroda (one year, $16 million), but it appears they are far from finished.
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.