Bob Nutting says no one on Pirates is ‘untouchable’ for new GM Ben Cherington
Upon hiring Ben Cherington as general manager, Pirates chairman Bob Nutting gave him the green light to make whatever roster moves he deemed necessary to create a winning club.
And no one is off limits.
“I told Ben from the beginning that no one on the roster, no one in the minor-league system or no one on the staff is untouchable,” Nutting told the Tribune-Review, “that he needs to have the flexibility to be able to drive forward and build an organization that he is proud of and that our fans are going to be proud of and that Pittsburgh is going to be proud of.”
That means the Pirates could be open to trading anyone from a two-time Gold Glove winner in center fielder Starling Marte to All-Star first baseman Josh Bell.
Nutting, however, said Cherington is “going to need some time” to evaluate the Pirates at the major-league level and minor-league system before making any moves.
“I do think that’s a process to get there,” Nutting said. “I can’t, and we can’t expect Ben to turn a magic switch, find two silver bullets and immediately have everything humming along at the pace that we will get it to.”
Nutting also emphasized his desire to “build on the strength but relentlessly drive change and improvement immediately.” While Cherington said there are “good players here” and said the initial focus of the new manager will be to improve performance, he didn’t rule out making trades.
“Everything we do is focused on moving closer to a winning team or sustaining winning,” Cherington said. “That’s the lens that I would look at it through. There will be opportunities that come up this winter or over the course of the next year that we will evaluate on the merit of whether that’s getting us closer to a winning team.”
Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .