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Pirates extend GM Neal Huntington through 2015

Sep 11, 2011, 1:23 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates Getty Images

Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates have signed GM Neal Huntington to a three-year contract extension with a club option for 2015. As is often the case with front-office deals, no financial details were disclosed.

Huntington was hired as the 12th general manager in franchise history on September 25, 2007, and has done a fine job of revamping the organization since taking over. The Pirates are improving their success rate on high draft picks, they’re more active on the international market, and they’ve begun putting a better product on the field at the major league level.

Huntington has misfired on a couple of trades, namely the Jason Bay swap, but the 42-year-old executive has also pumped $48 million into the draft over the past four years — by far the highest total in the major leagues. With a continued commitment to finding and cultivating young talent, the Pirates should be able to snap their streak of consecutive losing seasons by the time Huntington’s freshly inked deal expires.

The Pirates are also expected to retain director of player development Kyle Stark, director of scouting Greg Smith and director of baseball operations Tyrone Brooks. Bucs manager Clint Hurdle is signed through 2014.

  1. genuinejake - Sep 11, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    “The Pirates should be able to snap their streak of consecutive losing seasons by the time Huntington’s freshly inked deal expires.” I didn’t know this became the new grounds for front office retention.

    Under Huntington’s watch, the Pirates have hovered around a .400 winning percentage and have finished in last place for the past 3 years, save this one. I know he’s taken on a lot of long-term problems from previous GMs, but if the Pirates are EVER going to dream about making the playoffs again, they need more money, a better commitment to the city of Pittsburgh and reinvestment in their players, a shake-up in the front office, and a focus on winning rather than turning a profit.

  2. dailyrev - Sep 11, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    I’m OK with this. The Bucs aren’t unique in terms of the 2nd half collapse — young, rebuilding teams will commonly have to deal with that. Bottom line is they’re building a pitching staff that could be very tough by 2013-14 when that kid Cole is mature enough to bring up; and as kids like Presley, Jones, and maybe Alvarez mature to support Walker and Cutch, the offense will get steadier. I also like the fact that he didn’t bend too much to the pressure to trade up at the deadline (and it’s not exactly his fault that D-Lee broke his hand in his first week with the team).

    One point made above ought to be seconded, however: they’ve finally started selling some tickets to that marvelous ballpark of theirs, so the time’s come for the owners to give back a little in terms of working the FA market this winter. All right, no one expects to see Albert or Prince wearing the jolly roger; but they can spend some time around the hot stove this year and come away with something worthwhile.

  3. royalsfaninfargo - Sep 11, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    He deserves this. Like the Royals, the Bucs are starting from so far behind the field any improvement is a good sign. I would be quietly confident going forward if I was a Bucs fan (which I am by the way, they are my NL team).

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