Marlins hoping to sign Giancarlo Stanton to a long-term extension by early December

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Michael Hill, the Marlins’ president of baseball operations, was a guest Sunday on MLB Network Radio with Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette. Among the topics: the club’s future with Giancarlo Stanton …

It’s a nice goal, and the type of thing you’d expect any front office person to say about one of the game’s premier sluggers, but what are the odds a long-term deal actually gets worked out by the Winter Meetings (December 7-11) or at any point over the next two years? Stanton could be in line for something in the $200 million range when he hits free agency after the 2016 season and the richest contract in Marlins franchise history is the $106 million deal that was given to shortstop Jose Reyes, who was then shipped off to Toronto.

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.