The fourth-annual Rawlings Platinum Glove Awards were announced last night, recognizing the best defensive player in each league. Royals left fielder Alex Gordon took home the honors for the American League while Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina won the award for the National League.
Only those won the 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards were eligible for the Platinum Glove Award. The winners were determined by a combination of a fan vote and SABR’s Defensive Index metric.
Mark Newman of MLB.com writes that Gordon finished with 21.6 percent of the vote in the AL, topping teammate Salvador Perez (15.9 percent) and Dustin Pedroia (13.2 percent). Things were a bit closer in the National League, as Molina got 20.6 percent vote, just ahead of Mets center fielder Juan Lagares (17.7 percent), and Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons (15.5).
This is Molina’s third Platinum Glove Award in the four-year history of the award. Simmons won for the National League last year.
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.