Red Sox trade Mike Napoli to the Rangers

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Update (8:08 PM EST): The Rangers are getting cash from the Red Sox in addition to Napoli, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. The Red Sox will get a player to be named later or cash.

Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli was a late scratch from the starting line up for Friday’s game against the Tigers. WEEI’s Rob Bradford is reporting that the Rangers are acquiring him in a trade with the Red Sox. Alex Speier of the Boston Globe confirms the deal.

Travis Shaw was originally in the Red Sox lineup as a third baseman, but started at first base and Pablo Sandoval started at the hot corner.

Napoli, 33, is in the midst of the worst offensive season of his career, hitting .207/.307/.386 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI. The veteran of 10 seasons can become a free agent after the season. Napoli had limited no-trade protection, and the Rangers were on the list, but he agreed to waive it in order to move to a contender.

The Rangers have a dearth of power from the right side. Catcher Robinson Chirinos (currently on the 15-day disabled list) and third baseman Adrian Beltre have hit the most home runs as right-handed hitters with nine each. First baseman Mitch Moreland has trouble with left-handed pitchers, so Napoli will likely share first base with him in a platoon situation. The Rangers entered play Friday in third place at 54-53, 5.5 games behind the Astros in the AL West.

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.