PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pirates hired Jeff Branson as hitting coach and added Jeff Livesey to the major league coaching staff.
Branson replaces Jay Bell, who left the organization last week to take a job with the Cincinnati Reds. Branson worked with Bell last season to implement the team’s hitting program. The Pirates won 94 games to make the playoffs for the first time in 21 years but struggled offensively. Pittsburgh hit just .245 on the season and finished in the bottom half of the NL in several offensive categories.
Branson played nine seasons in the majors between Cincinnati, Cleveland and the Los Angeles Dodgers before retiring in 2001.
Livesey spent the last three years as Pittsburgh’s minor league hitting coordinator.
Phillies, Ruiz agree to deal
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Carlos Ruiz and the Phillies agreed to a $26 million, three-year contract that will keep the former All-Star catcher in Philadelphia, two people familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press. The contract includes a club option for 2017.
Ruiz, who turns 35 in January, hit .268 with five homers and 37 RBIs in 92 games last year after serving a 25-game suspension for using a banned amphetamine. He also spent time on the disabled list. Ruiz is known for excellent defensive skills and strong rapport with the pitching staff. He had career highs with a .325 average, 16 homers and 68 RBIs in 2012, when he made his first All-Star team.
• SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco Giants agreed to a $23 million, two-year contract with free-agent pitcher Tim Hudson.
Hudson made his major league debut with the Athletics in 1999 and went 92-39 in six seasons with Oakland. The 38-year-old Hudson went 8-7 with a 3.97 ERA in 21 starts this season for Atlanta. His season was cut short by a broken right ankle that required surgery. The Braves earlier this month declined to make a qualifying offer to Hudson, who won 49 games during the previous three seasons.
A-Rod’s grievance resumes
NEW YORK (AP) — Alex Rodriguez’s grievance hearing to overturn his 211-game suspension resumed Monday with the first of what could be 10 straight days of sessions.
The sides spent their ninth day before arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, who also heard the case from Sept. 30-Oct. 3 and Oct. 15-18. Rodriguez’s legal team was set to call witnesses when the hearing resumed.
MLB and the players’ association appear to be trying to finish testimony before Thanksgiving, and it remained unclear whether the New York Yankees third baseman would testify. He had been scheduled for an investigatory interview with MLB on Friday, but the session was canceled when Rodriguez’s side said he was ill with flu-like systems and could not travel from California.