Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees are calling up 23-year-old outfield prospect Mason Williams for his MLB debut.
Williams appeared on most top-100 prospect lists in 2012, 2013, and 2014, but his stock dropped a lot following a rough season at Double-A last year. However, he’s bounced back in a big way this year by hitting .318 with more walks (27) than strikeouts (23) and a .795 OPS in 54 games between Double-A and Triple-A.
Williams has primarily been a center fielder in the minors, so his presence could allow the Yankees to shift Brett Gardner back to left field in Jacoby Ellsbury’s absence. Or they could use the speedy, left-handed-hitting Williams all over the outfield as needed.
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.