Manager search into Week 6
The Pittsburgh Pirates are not expected to have a new manager in place until Friday at the earliest, and the process could drag on into next week.
After interviewing Texas Rangers hitting coach Clint Hurdle last Thursday, Hurdle is set to interview with the New York Mets on Wednesday morning.
Hurdle and Pirates organizational man Jeff Banister remain the only candidates for the Pirates opening.
Hurdle is GM Neal Huntington’s top choice, while Banister is regarded highly by President Frank Coonelly who will make the final decision.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Pirates have yet to begin negotiations with Hurdle, who is believed to be seeking three guaranteed years from the Pirates.
Hurdle is believed to have a genuine interest in the Pirates job but he’s first trying to gauge whether he’s a serious candidate in New York.
Whether the Pirates decide to wait around remains to be seen but all signs point to Hurdle being their top choice, if he wants the job.
Free Agency Update
The Pirates being aggressive in the early stages of free agency is good to hear and a good sign, but as one agent told me Monday afternoon, inquiries in the first couple days of free agency mean nothing when it comes to small market teams who have yet to show a willingness to be a “serious player” in free agency.
The real test for Pittsburgh will be in 3-to-4 weeks when the actual legitimate suitors emerge. Free agency in baseball is dragged out for weeks, and the first week or two is just a feeling out process for agents to gauge the market.