The Red Sox are looking for a third base upgrade

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Will Middlebrooks is hurt. And, when he wasn’t hurt, he kind of stunk. Ergo, the Red Sox are looking to make an upgrade at third base, writes  WEEI’s Rob Bradford.

One would think that the easy solution would be putting together the left side of the infield that helped the Sox win the World Series: Xander Bogaerts at third base and Stephen Drew at shortstop. However, the Sox don’t want to move Bogaerts off short. And, if they actually wanted Drew, you figure they may have called him well before now.

For the moment third base is Brock Holt’s job. And the Red Sox, spoken of by many as having the best depth in all of baseball, are looking to plug a hole.

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.