Luis Severino
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Luis Severino to return early next week

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Some good news for the Yankees: starter Luis Severino will join the Yankees this weekend in Toronto and has been scheduled to start on Tuesday in the Bronx when the Yankees take on the Angels.

Severino has been out all season due to lat and shoulder issues, but the Yankees have obviously been successful despite his absence. Having him back healthy and, hopefully, effective for the postseason is supremely important, however, as it’s way harder to paper over holes in a pitching staff come October.

Last year Severino went 19-8 in 32 starts, posting a 3.39 ERA across 191.1 innings. If he’s even close to his old form, the Bombers will have made a big, big addition to their postseason rotation.

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.