Boston Red Sox

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 18: Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Boston Red Sox, Ben Cherington, watches batting practice prior to the game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees on August 18, 2013 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

By Matt McCarthy,

Former Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington could be on the verge of landing another opportunity to run baseball operations for a big league club.

Cherington is said to be a finalist for the Pittsburgh Pirates opening. MLB insider Jon Heyman reported Pittsburgh’s decision has come down to Cherington and Brewers assistant GM Matt Arnold.

Cherington has been working with the Toronto Blue Jays for the past few seasons as their Vice President of Baseball Operations. He left the Red Sox in August of 2015 after the team hired Dave Dombrowski as the President of Baseball Operations, taking away his decision-making authority.

Cherington’s tenure in Boston was uneven. He was the GM of the 2013 World Series championship team, but also oversaw three last place finishes in 2012, 2014, and 2015. Perhaps his greatest success was unloading more than $250 million in salary by trading Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Nick Punto to the Dodgers in August of 2012.

The Pirates are beginning a house-cleaning after a 69-93 campaign. The team fired manager Clint Hurdle, GM Neal Huntington and President Frank Coonelly at the beginning of the offseason.

But a rebuild could appeal to Cherington, who reportedly drew interest last offseason from teams searching for a general manager. Ken Rosenthal reported then that Cherington was interested in a situation that would allow him to build an organization from the ground up.

The Pirates would certainly seem to be that kind of fit, and it sounds like the interest is mutual.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s own Hardcore Baseball podcast and on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.