Should the Royals trade Greg Holland?

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Former major leaguer and current FOX Sports contributor C.J. Nitkowski argues that the American League champion Royals should trade All-Star closer Greg Holland.

The Royals aren’t expected to expand their payroll much at all. Nitkowski points out that Holland will be entering his second of three years of arbitration eligibility and should be expected to see a significant jump from his 2014 salary of $4.675 million. The Royals also have a bushel of other arbitration cases to deal with, including those of Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, and Lorenzo Cain.

With Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera, and Brandon Finnegan next in line, the Royals should be able to withstand the loss of Holland, Nitkowski suggestions, and they’ll be able to get a decent prospect or a major league-ready player.

Holland has been among the best closers in baseball, posting a 1.32 ERA with 93 saves and a 193/38 K/BB ratio in 129 1/3 innings since the start of the 2013 season. He’ll turn 29 in November, but relievers are notoriously tough to predict on a year-in, year-out basis. The Royals certainly have a tough choice to make, as they don’t have a whole lot of room to work with given their middling payroll.

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.