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Neal Huntington Receives 3 Year Extension

The Pittsburgh Pirates have locked up general manager Neal Huntington.  Huntington, who was in the last year of his current deal, and the Pirates agreed to a 3 year contract extension.

All along Pirates brass was saying how they expected Huntington to remain in Pittsburgh for years to come.  But the Pirates late slide and the lack of an extension had many wondering if a deal would indeed get done.

No one has to wonder any longer, as Huntington is now under contract through 2014.  Pittsburgh also holds a club option for 2015.

Huntington became the Pirates GM following the 2007 season, replacing Dave Littlefield.  He immediately cleaned house in his attempt to rebuild the once proud franchise.

In their first three seasons under Huntington, the Pirates performed about the same, if not worse, than they had over the previous decade.  Huntington made a string of moves that were unpopular with the fan base, trading veterans such as Jason Bay, Nate McLouth, Xavier Nady, Freddy Sanchez and Jack Wilson.

After becoming the only team to fail to reach at least 60 wins in 2010, Huntington decided to make a change in the clubhouse, relieving manager John Russell of his duties and replacing him with former Rockies skipper Clint Hurdle.

The fruits of Huntington’s labor have finally shown themselves in 2011.  Huntington’s acquisitions that resulted from some of his unpopular moves have started making their impact felt at the Major League level.

An improved pitching staff and young core of players had the Pirates in the playoff hunt through the All-Star break.  While Pittsburgh has since dropped out of contention, they are poised to hit their highest win total in nearly a decade.

For more on the Pirates, be sure to check out Rum Bunter.

Tags: Freddy Sanchez Jack Wilson Jason Bay MLB Nate McLouth Neal Huntington Pittsburgh Pirates Xavier Nade

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