The Pittsburgh Pirates hired longtime major league coach Derek Shelton as manager on Wednesday, the final piece of a new-look leadership following a last-place finish in the NL Central. Shelton, 49, who spent the last two seasons as bench coach for the Minnesota Twins, replaced Clint Hurdle, who was fired on the final day of the regular season. “We are confident Derek will help lead an elite playing and coaching environment at the major league level and be a true partner to all of baseball operations as we challenge each other to get better every day,” Pittsburgh general manager Ben Cherington said in a statement. Shelton was the third high-profile hire by the Pirates since the end of a 69-93 season marred by issues both on and off the field. Travis Williams replaced Frank Coonelly as president in October. The team brought in Cherington this month after Neal Huntington was let go after 12 years on the job. Shelton filled the eighth and final manager vacancy, joining Joe Maddon (Los Angeles Angels), Joe Girardi (Philadelphia), David Ross (Chicago Cubs), Jayce Tingler (San Diego), Mike Matheny (Kansas City), Carlos Beltrán (New York Mets) and Gabe Kapler (San Francisco). Beltrán was the only minority hired for a manager opening. Shelton’s previous stops before the Twins included a season as the quality control coach for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2017 — his tenure overlapping Cherington’s stint as Toronto’s vice president of baseball operations — and seven years as a hitting coach with the Tampa Bay Rays. Shelton broke into the majors as hitting coach for the Cleveland Indians from 2005-09.
Red Sox outright Johnson
The Red Sox outrighted Brian Johnson to Triple-A Pawtucket after the 28-year-0ld lefthander went unclaimed on waivers. Johnson had struggled with a 6.02 ERA in 40⅓ innnings last year with elbow issues limiting his availability . . . Fomer Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland posted on Twitter that he will be joining the baseball coaching staff at UMass-Dartmouth.
Pomeranz signs with Padres
Former Red Sox lefthander Drew Pomeranz signed a four-year, $34 million contract with the San Diego Padres, who also acquired righthander Zach Davies and outfielder Trent Grisham in four-player trade with the Milwaukee Brewers who got infielder Luis Urías and lefthander Eric Lauer in return. Pomeranz received an $8 million signing bonus and will receive $4 million in salary in 2020, $6 million in 2021 and $8 million in 2022-23 . . . First baseman Greg Bird became a free agent after he cleared waivers and refused an outright assignment to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Bird, who turned 27 on Nov. 9, debuted on Aug. 13, 2015, and hit .261 with 11 homers and 31 RBIs in 46 games. He missed all of 2016 following surgery that Feb. 2 to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, an injury originally sustained that May with Double-A Trenton . . . Righthanded reliever Carl Edwards Jr. and the Seattle Mariners agreed on a one-year, $950,000 contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press . . . Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco is rehabilitating from arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle and is expected to be fully recovered in plenty of time for spring training.
BC men fall to St. Louis
Jordan Goodwin scored seven of his 20 points during a game-breaking 21-0 run midway into the second half, and Saint Louis posted a 64-54 victory over host Boston College in the Gotham Classic. Gibson Jimerson added 11 points for the Billikens (6-1), who played their first road game of the season after an opening six-game homestand. Goodwin added 14 rebounds. Derryck Thornton led BC (4-3) with 18 points, and Nik Popovic had 15 with eight rebounds for the Eagles, who have dropped three of four . . . Jordan Roland had 24 points with five 3-pointers as Northeastern got past Weber State, 79-69, in the Gulf Coast Showcase in Estero, Fla. Bolden Brace had 18 points and seven rebounds for Northeastern (4-4). Greg Eboigbodin added a career-best 13 points and Shaquille Walters had eight rebounds . . . Craig Randall II scored 25 points as University of Tennessee-Martin narrowly beat Boston University, 76-73, in the Cancun Challenge in Cancun, Mexico. Jonas Harper had 14 points for the Terriers (3-5).
Donations surge for hero of Duke upset
Nathan Bain, whose clutch layup helped Stephen F. Austin pull off a shocking upset of No. 1 Duke Tuesday night in Durham, N.C., was thankful and still in “disbelief” after his two-month-old GoFundMe page set up to help his Bahamian family recover from Hurricane Dorian experienced a massive spike in donations of about $76,241. Bain, whose initial fundraising goal of $25,000 was increased to$50,000, said the donation totals “skyrocketed” when he checked the website several times after the game. “I was just in disbelief at what basketball had done for my family,” the 6-foot-6, fifth-year senior guard told the Associated Press by phone. “It was truly a blessing.”
Arena League in bankruptcy
The Arena Football League, reduced to six teams before it suspended operations in October, declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy. ‘‘We simply weren’t able to raise the capital necessary to grow the league, resolve the substantial legacy liabilities and make it financially viable,’’ AFL commissioner Randall Boe said in a statement . . . NASCAR fined car owners Jay Robinson (Premium Motorsports), Rick Ware (Rick Ware Racing) and TJ Puchyr (Spire Motorsports) $50,000 each and penalized their teams for manipulating the season-ending Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in an alleged scheme to collect a higher bonus payout.