Poll: Pirates Extension Of Neal Huntington

This morning, the Pirates announced that they extended GM Neal Huntington's contract through 2014 with a club option for 2015.  In his four years on the job, the Bucs' farm system has gotten an infusion of talent and the club has shown that they are willing to spend on the draft.  Most recently, the Pirates gave sizeable deals right-hander Gerrit Cole and outfielder Josh Bell.  Pittsburgh also saw success on the major league level as they briefly sat atop the NL Central in late July before a slide in August.

While it appears that the club is headed in the right direction, the Pirates' record in three full seasons under Huntington's watch has been 186-299.  Unless they practically run the table to close out the season, this year will mark the team's 19th consecutive losing campaign. 

All things considered, do you agree with the Pirates three-year extension of Huntington's contract?

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12 Comments on "Poll: Pirates Extension Of Neal Huntington"

3 years 11 months ago

Er…wrong Josh Bell…

Encarnacion's Parrot
3 years 11 months ago

Why are we quoting W-L records again?

Nevermind. I’m slow today haha ūüėõ

3 years 11 months ago

Nah. He hasn’t really done anything noteworthy (I’m not looking at the results, but I may be overlooking something). But to be completely fair, he’s being handcuffed by Bob Nutting. I wouldn’t expect anyone to do anything if you’re not allowed to spend more than the amount you have stuffed away in your couch¬†cushions.¬†

3 years 11 months ago

I think that’s part of why the extension is a good thing. In the last 4 years the Pirates have gone from the ultimate laughingstock of baseball to a team with a potentially bright future and a potentially powerful farm. I’d give Huntington at least 95% of the credit.

3 years 11 months ago

When you evaluate his performance, you can’t just look at the regular free agency. The pirates have spent heavily in the draft and in international free agent signings, such as Luis Heredia or even Miguel Sano, whom they lost to the Twins.

Neil, along with Frank Coonelly and Bob Nutting, want to find low risk options which is kind of the basis for a team with one of the smallest payrolls.

Its better to sign 7 low risk, high reward players than buy a high risk player like Jeremy Burnitz, whic is why Dave Littlefield is no longer a GM.

3 years 11 months ago

I voted yes, knowing that contracts mean nothing in this day and age and if things start going south for the Pirates, so can Neal…

3 years 11 months ago

I agree that Neil totally deserved the extension. He inherited a mess from his predecessor Dave Littlefield  and has done a good job to try and bring talent to the organization.

He has made some very good trades. The only deal where he really lost was the Jason Bay deal but that deal was forced at the last minute and who knew that Andy Laroche would turn into a bum.

I wouldn’t call him Pedro Alvarez a bust just yet. His struggles may be attributed to being rushed to the big leagues, and he is still well regarded as a corner infielder with 40 home run potential.

I think the most significant contribution of his is the Pirates willingness to spend in the international free agent market, which is a good opportunity for them to find talent where their competitors aren’t looking. The Pirates have already made several splashes in signings, including Luis Heredia, and they nearly signed Miguel Sano two years back.

As of right now, I would give Neil a B+

George Busch
3 years 11 months ago

He should have been fired along with Frank Coonelly at the end of this season. The team 4 years later is no better (in fact worse, record of only 16 wins in their last 53 games). This team for the last almost 2 months is playing worse than last year’s team. When this team loses another 90+ games next year, are you still going to think this was a good signing?

3 years 11 months ago

Amen Brother, why can’t these idiots see this is a bad thing?

3 years 11 months ago

In Huntington’s tenure, the club has failed to win 40% of its games.¬† Though Littlefield was a failure, they won 43%.¬† Do the math.¬† How does NH warrant a 3 year extension unless it is to see just how poorly the next 3 years can go for the Bucs?

3 years 11 months ago

Only one bad trade?¬† What about Sanchez?¬† Selecting the most qualified player with the 1st or 2nd pick in the draft does not make you a good GM, I could do that and I have no GM qualifications whatsoever.¬† Taking Bell was a no brainer, if anyone deserves credit for that signing it would have to be the owner for spending the money.¬† Many teams wanted him in the first round but did not want to pay, so again no credit to the GM there, even I would have known enough to ask the owner if he’d pay for that guy.¬† Why were the Phillies able to trade two 8th round picks to get Hunter Pence?¬† Huntington was on the job then, who were his 8th round picks?
Just look at his free agent signings from this past offseason and if you do not see Littlefield in the signings of Overbay, et. al. then you aren’t looking hard enough or you are wearing your rose colored glasses.
I would also say that Arizona has moved on quite well from the dumping of Snyder, and were more than happy to dump that salary on the Pirates.

3 years 11 months ago

   Well he just had his 4th draft not a ton of time to prove yourself. He made the right pick in 2008 by taking Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez was lauded by scouts and was expected to by a huge middle of the lineup bat. Hindsight is always 20/20, that pick was largely unquestioned at the time and in many ways was a beacon of hope for the Pirates because for the first time in years the Pirates were willing to spend big in the draft. I mean just look at the year prior to the 2008 draft, the Pirates passed on Matt Wieters do to high bonus demands and instead drafted Daniel Moskos. 

¬† ¬†Obviously Huntington changed the organizations’ philosophy and made it be known that he intended to build through the draft, something the Pirates haven’t done and is largely the reason why they have such a long losing streak. ¬†

As far as acquiring talent, he has made a number of very good trades:

Jose Tabata, a franchise player along with some interesting spare parts in Ross Ohlendorf, Jeff Karstens, and Daniel McCutchen. 

Chris Snyder, a catcher, who when healthy is very solid. He gave up a bunch of spare parts and received a catcher that can be a stopgap for Tony Sanchez’s arrival

James McDonald a solid pitcher with upside that is under team control til 2015. He has been above average, with room to grow.

Joel Hanrahan one of the best closers in baseball right now. The centerpiece of that trade was Lastings Milledge (who was a good gamble at the time) but Hanrahan has turned out to be the star of the trade. Njyer Morgan has since been moved from the Nats because of his attitude problems.

Charlie Morton, not a great pitcher by any stretch of the imagination but he is cost controlled til 2015 and is moving in the right direction. They were able to move Nate McLouth just before he slipped into oblivion, which is huge for a small market team. He also received Gorkys Hernandez who looks like a solid fourth outfielder, as well as Jeff Locke who made his big league debut earlier this month and will probably be in the starting rotation in 2012. 

There isn’t a lot of room for error when you have one of the lowest payrolls in all of baseball. Huntington has had to make a lot of high risk/high reward type deals. The fact is he has turned a laughingstock of an organization into a highly competent one in only a few years. He also has increased attendance and earnings.

This is all coming from a Giants fan by the way. I would love to trade GM’s with you.