Domingo Santana
Getty Images

Mariners acquire Domingo Santana from Brewers

15 Comments

The Mariners executed another offseason swap on Friday, sending outfielder Ben Gamel and right-handed reliever Noah Zavolas to the Brewers in exchange for outfielder Domingo Santana.

Santana, 27, appeared poised for a full-time role with the Brewers after turning in his first 30-home run, 3.3-fWAR season in 2017. He was booted from the starting lineup after getting crowded out by Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich — and, to a lesser extent, failing to replicate his impressive numbers in the spring of 2018 — and a late-season resurgence just wasn’t enough to stabilize a .265/.328/.412 batting line, five home runs, and 0.7 fWAR across 235 plate appearances in the majors. Despite his noted lack of patience at the plate, one subpar season doesn’t spell the end of a career, and the Mariners will likely give him a longer leash alongside Jay Bruce, Mitch Haniger, and Mallex Smith as they look for his power to resurface in 2019.

The Brewers, meanwhile, will add the left-handed Gamel to their own stacked outfield. Like Santana, the 26-year-old corner outfielder also saw his power zapped at the major-league level in 2018. After hitting double digits in 2017, he sent just one ball into the stands during his latest campaign with the Mariners, and finished the season batting a subdued .272/.358/.370 through 293 PA. It’s unlikely that he’ll see significant time over Keon Broxton, Eric Thames, and Ryan Braun, as well as the aforementioned Yelich and Cain, though his left-handed bat might earn him a few extra looks off the bench throughout 2019.

Milwaukee will also take home minor-league righty Zavolas, who was selected in the 18th round of the 2018 amateur draft. He finished his pro ball debut with a combined 3.03 ERA, 2.6 BB/9 and 9.5 SO/9 in 38 2/3 innings for Short-Season Everett and High-A Modesto.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

Getty Images
3 Comments

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.