With both center fielder Angel Pagan and right fielder Hunter Pence on the disabled list the Giants have swung a deal to get outfield help, acquiring Marlon Byrd from the Reds in exchange for minor leaguer Stephen Johnson.
Byrd is 37 years old and swings at everything–he’s hitting .237 with a 101/23 K/BB ratio–but he’s also got 19 homers in 96 games after totaling 49 homers in the previous two seasons. He has excellent right-handed pop and can step into the lineup in place of Pence at minimal cost.
Byrd is an impending free agent, so it’s a six-week pickup, and Johnson is 24-year-old, Double-A relief prospect and former sixth-round draft pick with good strikeout rates and poor control.
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.