The Marlins have hired Pirates special assistant Jim Benedict to become their new vice president, pitching development, as MLB.com’s Adam Berry notes. The news is more significant than it might initially seem — Benedict and Bucs pitching coach Ray Searage have been widely credited with powering the pitching program that helped the Pirates get good results from a number of unknown or unappreciated hurlers in the last several season. Benedict is the Marlins’ second significant hire from the Bucs’ front office this fall — they previously tabbed another special assistant, Marc DelPiano, to serve as their farm director. Here’s more from the NL East.
- The Braves face plenty of uncertainty in their bullpen and will likely pursue relief help this offseason, writes MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. Arodys Vizcaino will pitch in the late innings, and Chris Withrow (elbow) will likely be ready as well. But Jason Grilli and Shae Simmons are both making their back from injury and will be question marks, while Mike Foltynewicz could wind up in the rotation. That means the Braves could be in the market for righties like Joakim Soria, Jonathan Broxton, Tyler Clippard and Darren O’Day, along with lefties like Tony Sipp.
- The Mets turned their season around as their lineup began to come together in late July, ESPN’s Jayson Stark writes. Obviously, much of that was their trade for Yoenis Cespedes, but manager Terry Collins also points to their additions of Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson, which happened a week earlier. “[T]hat, to me, is when we started turning things around,” Collins says. Uribe and Johnson helped somewhat, but it wasn’t just that — it was that it became clear within the clubhouse that the Mets’ front office was willing to supplement its team.