The Pirates have reached agreement on a four-year extension with skipper Clint Hurdle, according to a report from Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Hurdle, 60, will now be under contract through 2021.
This represents the lengthiest commitment the club has made to Hurdle, who has been at the dugout helm since 2011. He originally signed a three-year contract, then added a year and an option, then inked a three-year extension with another option season. That last deal left the club with the right to keep Hurdle around for 2018; instead, though, the organization elected to strike a lengthier pact.
When Pittsburgh initially hired Hurdle, who had previously managed the Rockies, the organization had yet to post a winning season since way back in 1992. That did not change right away, but Hurdle and GM Neal Huntington helped oversee a return to prominence beginning in 2013.
The Bucs ran off an impressive 280-206 record from 2013 through 2015, though somehow the club never managed to take a division crown in a competitive NL Central. Unfortunately, too, Pittsburgh fizzled in all three trips to the postseason.
Since that time, the Pirates have faltered. After a disappointing 2016 campaign, the team has again fallen shy of expectations — though it’s tough to find much cause to blame Hurdle for the notable roster absences the club has dealt with.
What’s not yet known is whether Hurdle will continue to partner with GM Neal Huntington. Pittsburgh can also retain Huntington through a 2018 club option. At this time, there’s no real indication as to how that situation will play out.