The Angels completed their trade for outfielder Justin Upton on Friday, sending right-handed pitching prospect Elvin Rodriguez to the Tigers. The Tigers also received right-hander Grayson Long in the deal.
Rodriguez, 19, was ranked No. 22 in the Angels’ system by MLB Pipeline. He spent the bulk of his 2017 season in rookie-level Orem, where he went 5-1 in 11 starts and commanded a 2.50 ERA, 1.8 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 through 54 innings. While his big league debut is still several seasons away, his continued consistency merited a jump to Single-A Burlington in August, where he issued nine runs, three walks and struck out 12 of 63 batters in his first 14 innings.
According to MLB.com’s Jason Beck, the Tigers are still waiting to complete two trades from the last several months. They’re due cash or a player to be named later from the Cubs after dealing Justin Wilson and Alex Avila, and will need to supplement the Astros’ acquisition of Justin Verlander with cash or a PBTNL as well.
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.