The Pittsburgh Pirates have filled their vacant general manager position by hiring Ben Cherington, the team announced Monday. The Pirates have also announced that assistant general manager Kyle Stark has been relieved of his duties.
As for Cherington, the biggest item to stand out on his resume is winning the 2013 World Series as general manager of the Red Sox.
Cherington, 45, was hired by the Red Sox by then-GM Dan Duquette and served as a baseball operations assistant and director of player development, among other jobs, from 1999-2005. After Theo Epstein returned from a hiatus to take over as club president, Cherington was named as vice president of player personnel and served in that role until the end of the 2011 season.
After Epstein departed for the Cubs, Cherington took over as the GM of the Red Sox. The first season with manager Bobby Valentine was a disaster -- though reports indicated Valentine wasn't Cherington's choice, but instead that of ownership.
After the last-place finish in 2012, Cherington added a bevy of veterans on short deals, such as Shane Victorino, Koji Uehara, Stephen Drew, Mike Napoli and David Ross. Along with the core players in place, the group pulled together to go 97-65 and win the World Series.
The 2014 season was a big step back and during another disappointing season in 2015, the Red Sox hired Dave Dombrowski as club president, a move that triggered Cherington's resignation.
In late 2016, Cherington was hired by the Blue Jays as vice president of baseball operations.
Now he's back in charge and he's got a tall order in front of him.
The Pirates are coming off a 69-93 season in which they were 25-48 after the All-Star break. There is some talent here, but the Pirates are clearly the worst team in the NL Central and have what looks to be a mid-level farm system.
Cherington is most certainly going to go into rebuild mode with Starling Marte ($24 million in club options over the next two seasons) being the big fish set to be moved. Chris Archer and Gregory Polanco could also go, but it would make sense to see if they can rebuild some value during the season and then trade them in July.
For now, the Pirates have their new GM. Next up, Cherington will interview for the open managerial job without any competition, as it's the only opening left.