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Nationals nearing trade for Indians catcher Yan Gomes

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Nationals are in “serious discussions” with the Indians regarding a trade for catcher Yan Gomes.

The Nationals already brought back Kurt Suzuki on a free agent deal, so picking up Gomes would constitute a total catching overhaul going forward. If the trade happens it’ll be a $17 million total investment for 2019, with Suzuki making $10 million this coming season (and for 2020), with Gomes making $7 million. There are also club options on Gomes for $9 and 11 million in 2020 and 2021.

Gomes, an excellent defender, has had up-and-down offensive numbers over the years. He looked to be a star in the making after posting strong numbers at the plate in 2013 and 2014, but he cratered over the next three seasons. This past season, however, he rebounded to a respectable .266/.313/.449 and hit 16 homers.

What the Nats might send back to Cleveland is unknown.

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.