Source: Ben Cherington to be named Pirates general manager
The Pittsburgh Pirates have found their next head of baseball operations, and it is Ben Cherington, a source confirmed to the Tribune-Review on Friday.
Cherington replaces Neal Huntington, who was fired Oct. 28 after 12 years on the job. The new GM will be introduced at a news conference at noon Monday.
Cherington just completed his third season as the Toronto Blue Jays’ vice president of baseball operations. However, he is best known for his nearly four-year run as the Boston Red Sox’s general manager from 2012-15.
In 2013, the Red Sox won the World Series. Thus, Cherington becomes the first GM hired by the Pirates with a World Series appearance as a GM on his resume since Branch Rickey in 1950.
The Pirates also announced they fired assistant GM Kyle Stark. He also joined the front office in 2007 soon after Huntington was hired.
“On behalf of the organization, I want to thank Kyle for his hard work and dedication for more than a decade of his career,” Pirates president Travis Williams said in a statement. “He was a key part of the baseball operations team that helped bring postseason baseball back to Pittsburgh. We wish him and his family the best.”
That move is not surprising as Cherington will want to hire his own top aide.
A possibility for the job is Ed Romero Jr. He was the Red Sox’s executive vice president and general manager under baseball operations head Dave Dombrowski but lost that title in recent weeks after the hiring of chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom.
Romero’s father was a major league infielder for 12 seasons.
Another potential candidate is Houston Astros assistant general manager of player development Pete Putila. He also interviewed for the Pirates GM job and is a Carmichaels graduate.
Kevan Graves, who had been serving as the Pirates’ acting GM, is expected to remain with the organization as part of the restructured front office.
Graves interviewed last week for the San Francisco Giants’ assistant GM job that went to Chicago Cubs assistant GM Scott Harris.
Cherington began his professional baseball career in 1998 as an advance scout for the Cleveland Indians.
He joined the Red Sox the next year and worked as an area scout, baseball operations assistant, Latin America scouting coordinator, player development director and assistant GM before becoming the head of baseball operations.
Cherington was named Major League Baseball Executive of the Year in 2013 by The Sporting News.
A native of Meridian, N.H., Cherington is an Amherst alumnus and earned his master’s degree in sports management from Massachusetts.
Now, Cherington replaces his longtime friend.
John Perrotto is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.