PITTSBURGH (KDKA 93-7 The Fan)- Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington joined Greg Brown Sunday for his weekly show on The Fan. Brown asked Huntington how he would answer fans pleas to sign Russell Martin to a contract extension.
“We’re going to do everything that we feel we can do. It may meet Russ’ needs, it may not. It may not meet our fans determined needs, it may not meet our media’s determined needs. But at the end of the day, our focus is to put a championship-caliber team on the field, and we’re going to make all the decisions that we possibly can to do that,” Huntington said.
The waiver trade deadline is Aug. 31. Huntington said that the club is continuing to look to make claims, although there is no obvious need like last year.
“I’m not going to cast our odds as good or bad or neutral,” Huntington said. “It’s been a very aggressive claiming period again this year. Any number of players that we placed claims on that we thought would get to us, even if we didn’t think their club would move them, even those types of players aren’t getting to us. So, it’s an aggressive claiming period, and we’re one of the clubs that’s being aggressive, so I’m certainly not faulting those that are being aggressive.”
Teams can expand their rosters next week. Huntington said the ability to expand the rosters can be tricky.
“There is that double-edged sword between trying to provide Clint (Hurdle) with every option in the world to help him win games, and then providing him with the opportunity to keep guys fresh and sharp and put them in a position to help us win games. So, my guess is we’ll be somewhere between 30 and 35,” Huntington said.
The Pirates entered Sunday with a three-game winning streak after a seven-game losing streak.
“Injuries have played a huge role so far in the National League pennant race this year. We’re battling through a tough part of our schedule that also happens to coincide with some injuries to some key players, and the guys have done a nice job of bouncing back and fighting through this,” Huntington said.