Buster Olney has an interesting note (via MLBTR) from over the weekend about the Pirates, saying that they’ve had informal discussions with former Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington about a role in the front office. Those are the only details Olney gave, other than pointing out that Cherington and Neal Huntington have been friends for years.
When the Red Sox moved on from Cherington, my immediate thought was to wonder if he would end up with the Pirates. The trend with a lot of teams now is to load up on GM types and get as much front office talent as possible. We saw this with the Dodgers in a big way last year. Andrew Friedman moved over from the Rays and took over as the President of Baseball Operations. Josh Byrnes joined the organization as a Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations. Farhan Zaidi, who was the Director of Baseball Operations and Assistant General Manager with Oakland in 2013-14, was hired to be the new General Manager. And the former GM of the team, Ned Colletti, was retained as a Senior Advisor to the President and CEO.
If Cherington did join the Pirates’ front office, it would give another GM-type to add some input to roster decisions. As Olney notes, it would also be a job that would come with less stress than a normal GM job.
The Pirates are starting to lose talent from their front office, with Marc DelPiano and Jim Benedict both leaving for Miami after previously serving as Special Assistants to the GM. So if the Pirates added Cherington, not only would the move follow a trend in the industry of having multiple GM-types in the front office, but it would help to replace some talent that has been lost from the front office this off-season.
Olney said that these are just informal discussions, but based on the relationship between Huntington and Cherington, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this eventually happens.
UPDATE 11:27 AM: It looks like Cherington will be taking a job as the Executive in Residence with Columbia. I’m guessing this eliminates the possibility of him joining the Pirates.