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Braves claim René Rivera off waivers from Angels

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The Angels announced that catcher René Rivera was claimed on waivers by the Braves.

Rivera, 35, suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee in May and didn’t return until a couple weeks ago. He had been the backup to Martin Maldonado, but Maldonado was traded to the Astros near the end of July. With Rivera now out of the picture in Anaheim, Francisco Arcia figures to take over starting duties with José Briceño backing him up.

Rivera hit .244/.287/.439 with four home runs and 11 RBI in 87 plate appearances this season. He will rank third on the Braves’ depth chart at catcher behind Kurt Suzuki and Tyler Flowers.

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.