Pittsburgh Pirates, Neal Huntington, Cook and Poni Show, Andrew McCutchen

Pirates GM Neal Huntington: We Have Not Given Up On This Season

By: Joe Kapp

PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan)- Pittsburgh Pirates General Manger Neal Huntington joined The Cook and Poni Show on Tuesday after the Major League Trade deadline.

The Pirates did make a pair of moves acquiring Joaquin Benoit from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Low-A reliever Seth McGarry and sent Tony Watson to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Low-A prospects Angel German, a right-handed reliever, and Oneil Cruz, a third baseman. But was it enough to appease the fans?

“We are working hard to get better,” Huntington said. “We certainly understand that the fans expect more and want more.”

So did he do enough to help this team for this year or are we looking ahead to 2018?

“We’re not looking ahead to 2018” Huntington added. “This club is still going to fight.”

He pointed out to the guys that he feels like he has allowed this team to still compete for a division title or a wild card by not moving guys like Andrew McCutchen or Gerrit Cole.

Could he be thinking of extending McCutchen?

“We would love to see Andrew McCutchen to stay in Pittsburgh for a longtime,” Huntington said. “It does have to be a mutual interest, have to be a mutual risk. There has to be a mutual give and if there is not unfortunately if we extend too far, and there are examples of this all over the league, it’s going to be hard to build around that one player.”

So where did 2017 go wrong? Was it before the season started when Jung Ho Kang was denied a visa to return to the United States or when Starling Marte was suspended for half season for using steroids?

Huntington did admit that he knew from the outset that there was a good chance of Kang missing the entire season and that there is a chance he could miss next season, but the Marte situation was a surprise to everyone.

“As we look back, yeah the Kang and Marte situations were two off-field decisions that really came to hurt us this year.” Huntington said. “Could we have done something differently? We absolutely could have given up more than we should have in prospect value to acquire some major league players that might have helped us a little bit better than the guys we rolled out there every day.”

So, maybe next year?

“We get tired of talking about waiting to next year,” Huntington added. “We do have work to do.”

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