Pirates officially hire Ben Cherington as new GM

The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as their new general manager, the team announced Monday.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013.

He stepped down as Red Sox GM during the 2015 season, after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston's new president of baseball operations.

In September 2016, Cherington was hired by the Toronto Blue Jays to be their vice president of baseball operations under general manager Ross Atkins.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12-year stint.

Among Cherington's first tasks will be to hire a manager to replace Clint Hurdle, who was fired on the morning of the final regular-season game in September. Hurdle went 735-720 in Pittsburgh and is the fourth-winningest manager in the club's 132-year history in the National League, but the Pirates finished 69-93 in 2019, including a 25-48 record after the All-Star break.

Frank Coonelly, the team president who hired Huntington, left on Oct. 23 in what was described by the club as a mutual agreement. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly and fired Huntington on Oct. 28.

Pittsburgh earned an NL wild-card berth in 2013, reaching the postseason for the first time since 1992 and ending a streak of 20 consecutive losing seasons. The Pirates beat the Cincinnati Reds before losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in a five-game NL Division Series. The Pirates lost in the wild-card game in both 2014 and 2015, then slipped to consecutive losing records before going 82-79 in 2018.

"This is not going to be where we flip the switch and the next day, all of a sudden, we're in the World Series," Williams said when Huntington was fired. "We're going to have to get a GM in place, put a plan in place that charts a path forward within the framework that we're operating that we can get back to being a very successful team."

A graduate of Amherst College, Cherington started with the Red Sox as an area scout in 1999 and moved up the organization under Theo Epstein.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.