Detroit’s bullpen posted a combined 4.29 ERA during the 2014 regular season, ranking 27th in the major leagues. Offseason additions Tom Gorzelanny and Alex Wilson should help turn that around a little in 2015, and so should the return of fire-baller Bruce Rondon. But some depth would be nice.
Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that the Tigers have RSVP’d to watch free agent right-hander Matt Albers pitch in front of interested teams February 10 (next Tuesday) in the Houston area.
Albers was limited to eight appearances last season with the Astros due to a shoulder injury, but the 32-year-old is feeling healthier now and will try to show teams that he can again be a useful bullpen piece. Albers posted a 2.77 ERA in 123 1/3 innings for the Red Sox, Diamondbacks, and Indians between 2012-2013.
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.