Athletics release Cody Ross

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The Athletics have released outfielder Cody Ross, according to MLB.com’s transactions page. Ross had been designated for assignment on Saturday.

Ross was released by the Diamondbacks in early April, as the club chose to eat the $9.5 million remaining on his contract ($8.5 million for 2015 plus a $1 million buyout for 2016). The Athletics snapped him up, but Ross recorded only two hits (both singles) in 25 plate appearances.

Ross, 34, battled calf injuries over the past two seasons, which unsurprisingly has sapped him of his power. After hitting 22 home runs in 528 plate appearances in 2012, he combined to hit 10 in 570 PA between 2013-14.

Now a free agent, Ross will try to continue his major league career elsewhere.

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.