Former Braves, Cubs OF Dwight Smith dies at 58

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ATLANTA — Dwight Smith, a runner-up for NL rookie of the year who played on Atlanta’s World Series-winning team in 1995, died Friday, the Braves announced. He was 58.

The Braves said the former outfielder and pinch-hitting specialist died of congestive heart and lung failure. He lived in suburban Peachtree City, about 30 miles south of Atlanta.

Smith played in the big leagues for eight years, starting out with the Chicago Cubs, splitting a season between the Angels and Baltimore Orioles before joining the Braves for his final two seasons.

His son, Dwight Jr., has also spent time in majors, most recently with Baltimore in 2020.

The elder Smith served mostly as a pinch-hitter with the Braves in 1995, hitting .252 with three homers and 21 RBIs in 103 games.

Atlanta defeated Cleveland in six games to win the World Series. with Smith appearing three times as a pinch-hitter. He went 1 for 2 with a walk.

In a statement, the Braves called Smith “an integral member” of their first Atlanta championship team.

“Dwight was also a beloved alumni member, and his infectious smile will be missed around Truist Park,” the team added.

Smith played one more season with the Braves to close out his career. He batted just .203 with three homers and 16 RBIs in 101 games. He did not appear in the postseason as Atlanta again reached the World Series, losing to the New York Yankees.

Smith had his best season as a rookie with the Cubs in 1989, batting .324 with nine homers and 52 RBIs to help Chicago win the NL East. He was runner-up to teammate Jerome Walton for rookie of the year.

“We are saddened to learn of the death of Dwight Smith and send our condolences,” the Cubs tweeted.

After five seasons with the Cubs, Smith signed with the Angels as a free agent in 1994. He was traded to Baltimore during the strike-shortened season, then moved on the Braves the following year.

Smith was survived by his wife Cheryl, Dwight Jr., and daughters Taylor and Shannyn.

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.