The Pittsburgh Pirates made the news we heard over the weekend official. Ben Cherington has been hired as their new General Manager. He will be introduced during a noon press conference today. We will have much more on this news over the next two days.
Here’s the press release from the Pirates:
The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced that Ben Cherington has been named General Manager of the organization, thus becoming the 13th G.M. in the history of the club. Cherington brings 20-plus seasons of baseball operations experience and leadership to the Pirates organization, highlighted by 17 as a member of the Boston Red Sox, including four as Executive Vice President/General Manager from October 25, 2011, until August of 2015.
“This is an important step forward for our organization,” said Bob Nutting, Pirates Chairman of the Board. “Ben has an incredible track record of success having been a part of three World Championship teams in Boston, one as General Manager, and setting the table for a fourth. His passion and ability to identify, infuse and develop talent at every level, including at the Major League level, is exactly what we need to be successful in Pittsburgh.”
Cherington held a wide-range of roles after joining the Red Sox in 1999. From 2006 to 2008, he served the club as its Vice President/Player Personnel, overseeing amateur scouting and player development while also consulting on all Major League player acquisitions. Under his guidance, Boston’s 2006 draft was named the best in the Majors by Baseball America. From December 12, 2005, through January 19, 2006, he acted as the club’s co-General Manager. Prior to his appointment as GM in October of 2011, he served as Boston’s Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager beginning in January of 2009, where he worked closely on Major League personnel decisions, including evaluation and analysis, player acquisition and contract negotiation.
Heading into his second year as Boston’s General Manager, Cherington led one of the biggest turnarounds in Major League history that helped the 2013 Red Sox to an American League-best 97-65 record and eighth World Series championship. Following that season, Cherington was named Major League Baseball’s Executive-of-the-Year by both The Sporting News and Boston’s Chapter of the BBWAA.
“Pittsburgh is the ideal opportunity for me, and the only one I was interested in exploring,” Cherington said. “The four pillars that will drive our success are elite talent identification, acquisition, development and deployment. My entire career has been spent focusing on developing great systems to be elite in these four critical areas, which will fuel our future success in Pittsburgh.
“I have always appreciated the passion of Pittsburgh sports fans,” Cherington added. “My sense is that Pirates fans appreciate hard work, honest effort, and people and players they can trust. All things that I can respect and identify with. My wife and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this community.”
The 45-year-old Cherington spent each of the last three seasons as the Vice President, Baseball Operations, for the Toronto Blue Jays, with a keen focus on development. During his tenure with Toronto, Cherington helped construct a Blue Jays farm system that was rated as the third-best in the industry entering the 2019 season by Baseball America.
“Ben is exactly what we need,” said Travis Williams, Pirates President. “He knows how to develop a winning culture. He also has a track record of attracting and developing talent, both on the field and in the front office. Ben is constantly challenging himself, his people and the processes that are in place. He knows that our ability to drive innovation and stay ahead of the game will be important to our long-term success.”
UPDATE: The press conference will be shown live on MLB Network and streamed live on Pirates.com, plus the Pirates Facebook and Twitter.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.