Pirates announce Ben Cherington as general manager

Oct 10, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington watches the team during a workout  in preparation for the American League Championship Series at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Ben Cherington was the Boston Red Sox GM for four years. (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

Ben Cherington will be the next Pittsburgh Pirates general manager, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Friday. The team made its official announcement Monday.

The former Red Sox general manager was reported to be in the running for the position last week. The Pirates fired Neal Huntington in October after 12 seasons with the team that included three postseason appearances.

Pirates president Travis Williams said in a team release:

Ben is exactly what we need. 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.”

The Pirates reportedly offered the job Thursday and he decided to accept Friday morning, per Mackey, and he was spotted at Pittsburgh International Airport.

“Pittsburgh is the ideal opportunity for me, and the only one I was interested in exploring,” Cherington said in a team release. “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. 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.”

Cherington, 45, comes directly from the Toronto Blue Jays, where he was vice president of baseball operations. He took that job in September 2016 after serving as GM of the Red Sox for four years.

Boston won the World Series in 2013 during his time there. His first task in Pittsburgh will be to hire a new manager after Clint Hurdle was let go in the team’s massive overhaul. He was fired before the final game of the season.

Pittsburgh also let go of its president and put the managerial search on pause while it found a GM, who could then hire his own manager.

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