Marlins willing to trade pitching to address other needs

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MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports that the Marlins are willing to trade some of their young, controllable pitchers to fill other areas of need. Thus far, though, nothing has felt like the “right deal” to Michael Hill, Marlins president of baseball operations.

Of their six arbitration-eligible players, five are pitchers: Mike Dunn, Steve Cishek, Aaron Crow, Nathan Eovaldi, and Henderson Alvarez. Scores more have yet to accrue enough service time to become arbitration-eligible, such as Tom Koehler. For mid-market teams who won’t even bother to deign interest in top free agent arms like Max Scherzer and Jon Lester, the Marlins certainly look like an attractive trading partner with which to find a pitching upgrade.

Frisaro adds that, following the history-making contract extension with outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, the Marlins have also broached extending Jose Fernandez, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, and Adeiny Hechavarria. Each in the quartet has yet to become eligible for arbitration, meaning they will not hit free agency until 2019 at the earliest.

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.