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Report: Mets pull Noah Syndergaard off trade market

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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the New York Mets have pulled starter Noah Syndergaard off the trading block and do not intend to deal him by today’s 4PM trade deadline. They still are likely to trade Zack Wheeler, however.

If true: good for the Mets. Yes, they could probably get a lot for Syndergaard right now. But as we noted many times in the past few days, their acquisition of Marcus Stroman to go along with Jacob deGrom and Syndergaard gives the Mets a fantastic top-three to the rotation. Along with Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto and Pete Alonso, you have a wonderful core that could, with some tweaks, compete next year. And which could even be at least moderately interesting in the season’s final two months.

Are the Mets perfect? Far from it, obviously. They have underachieved and have some issues with defense and relief pitching to go along with their usual born-under-a-bad-sign karma and their oh so common self-inflicted wounds. But they’re talented enough to where the front office should be adding to and enhancing the roster rather than tearing it down or merely churning it.

All of this  changes, of course, if the Mets simply deal Syndergaard this winter rather than attempt to build a contender for 2020. But for now, if this report holds up, consider this some fair to moderate praise for the Mets.

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.