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Report: Athletics to sign Matt Harvey

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The Athletics and pitcher Matt Harvey have agreed on a minor league contract, Roster Roundup reports on Twitter. Jon Heyman confirms the signing.

Harvey, 30, was released by the Angels last month after putting up an ugly 7.09 ERA with 39 strikeouts and 29 walks in 59 2/3 innings of work spread out over 12 starts. The Halos inked Harvey to a one-year, $11 million contract hoping he could turn things around, but it never happened.

The A’s will only be on the hook for paying Harvey the prorated major league minimum, making it a low-risk venture. Harvey will provide depth for the starting rotation and could even be used out of the bullpen.

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.