With all of the talk surrounding the Pittsburgh Pirates’ need for a lefty-hitting first baseman this year, there are a couple other issues that they have been forgetting about as well.
Those would be contract extensions for manager Clint Hurdle and general manager Neal Huntington.
After leading the Pirates to their most successful season in 21 years, you would have thought that extending both guys would have been high on the priority list this offseason, but it is something that oddly hasn’t even been discussed.
The reigning National League Manager of the Year is on the last year of his current deal that also has a club option for 2015, yet as the Bucs head into the 2014 season, Hurdle has no idea if he will be in Pittsburgh beyond this season. It makes very little sense to head into the season with a lame-duck manager, especially one that has produced positive results like Hurdle has.
He is one of only three managers in the majors that don’t have a deal past the 2014 season.
Huntington is also in the last year of his deal and it’s a head-scratcher that he hasn’t received a contract extension as well.
All he has done is build the best farm system in the majors and put together a roster that made a playoff run in 2013, getting robbed of the Executive of the Year award in the process.
If Hurdle and Huntington’s performances don’t demand contract extensions, what does?
The win totals under Hurdle have increased by 15, seven and 15 again. That’s a plus-37 in three seasons. Huntington built this team from the bottom up and has the franchise positioned to be competitive for several years.
However Pirates owner Bob Nutting has indicated that no extensions are being discussed at the time and that they won’t likely be in the short-term future.
What are you waiting for?
You have to spend some money somewhere and Hurdle and Huntington are two guys that have earned what is coming to them. Extending both guys now won’t break the bank.
Entering the season without both getting extended is a mistake.