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Aaron Sanchez to have season-ending shoulder surgery

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The Astros acquired Aaron Sanchez from the Jays at the trade deadline hoping to bolster the back end of their rotation. He did briefly, tossing 11 innings of one-run ball in his first two starts. he was lit up for six runs in his August 15 start, however, and left his August 20 start after two and a third innings of three-run ball. He has not pitched since, with the team originally calling the problem a sore pectoral muscle.

It now seems that the problem was worse: Astros GM Jeff Luhnow told reporters this afternoon that Sanchez will undergo shoulder surgery next week and will be out for the rest of the year.  He wasn’t specific about what the procedure is. He said he’d say more next week after the surgery is completed.

Sanchez is arbitration eligible this offseason, so his future is very much in flux at the moment.

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.