If you can catch, you’re valuable. Miguel Montero can catch, ergo:
The Diamondbacks continue to have dialogue with other clubs on a variety of players, including catcher Miguel Montero . . . Among the teams the Diamondbacks have spoken to about Montero are the Chicago Cubs, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that. But also notes that the action is not really heated at the moment.
The 31-year-old Montero caught 131 games last year with some extra DH and pinch hitting duties thrown in. After a a 2013 in which he spent some time on the DL and his hitting suffered, he bounced back up to a line of .243/.329/.370. That’s off his peak, but comes out to an OPS+ of 95, which ain’t bad for a catcher.
What is kind of bad? His five-year, $60 million contract which still has two years left to go.
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.