Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports has a column up on the future of John Russell, suggesting that the Pirates need to make a decision on their manager. What stood out to me was that Rosenthal reports that Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington has been extended through the 2011 season. Here is the quote:
The Pirates already have extended general manager Neal Huntington’s contract through 2011 and might also have exercised Russell’s club option for next season, one major-league source says.
It was previously believed that Huntington and Russell were both operating without contracts, and this is the first I’ve seen that Huntington has been extended. If Rosenthal’s source is correct, then we may not even know if, or when, Russell is extended.
As for Huntington, I like this move. Obviously not all of his moves have worked out so far. The Jason Bay trade took a major hit with Andy LaRoche’s struggles this year, and now rests on Bryan Morris to give the deal any value. The acquisition of Akinori Iwamura was a good move in theory, but Iwamura didn’t play up to expectations.
On the other side of the coin, Huntington has now conducted three drafts, and all three look great, especially if he can sign Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie by August 16th. There have also been moves that have worked out, such as the Xavier Nady trade, the Jack Wilson trade, the signing of Garrett Jones, and the addition of Evan Meek as a Rule 5 choice.
The main value for the Pirates and their future will come through the draft, and that’s an area that Huntington his crew have excelled at. After seeing three drafts from Huntington, I’m very interested in seeing what will happen in 2011, with a draft class that is considered very deep in talent.