The Pirates brass is as mad as hell, but Clint Hurdle’s job is safe

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The Pirates have laid an egg in the past month, and on Saturday owner Bob Nutting was expansive about the depth of his disappointment in the team:

Pirates owner Bob Nutting on Saturday called his team’s second-half collapse “incredibly, intensely frustrating” and vowed to do what’s necessary to prevent another.

“We’re all frustrated by and upset with the performance and seriously looking at what do we need to do both to finish the year appropriately and make sure this isn’t something we ever see again,” Nutting said.

But he went on to add that speculating on people’s jobs is not appropriate.  General Manager Neal Huntington was more to the point about Clint Hurdle’s job:

General manager Neal Huntington responded with a terse “No” when asked whether manager Clint Hurdle’s job is in jeopardy.

I don’t think Clint Hurdle is the best manager in all of creation, but I also don’t see how this is somehow all his fault either. The Pirates’ swoon has been a total team effort.

Brad Ausmus seems to know he’s a dead man walking

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The Tigers have been terrible and the embarked on a rebuild this summer, shipping off Justin Verlander and multiple other players. Miguel Cabrera is hurt and may never be his old MVP-level self. It is, without a doubt, that the Tigers and their fans are about to begin a new chapter in the franchise’s history.

Such new chapters usually involve new managers. Fourth-year manager Brad Ausmus is still at the helm and the Tigers have made no public statement about his future. Ausmus, however, is a lame duck, with his contract ending a week from Sunday. He is also no fool. He seems to know very well that he’s not going to be around next year. From Katie Strang of The Athletic:

Ausmus, of course, has been on the hot seat several times. When Detroit exercised his option for this year, their refusal to extend it sent a pretty clear signal.

If this is the end of the road in Detroit for Baseball’s Most Handsome Manager, it will end with him having missed the playoffs in three of his four seasons at the helm of a star-studded team that was expected to Win Now, as they say. Yes, there were a lot of issues with the Tigers — their bullpen has always been a problem and the brass made a lot of questionable choices in signings and trades over the past few years — but there is no escaping the fact that Ausmus’ Tigers under achieved.

Marco Estrada signs a one-year, $13 million deal for 2018

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Marco Estrada and the Blue Jays have agreed to a one-year, $13 million extension with the Blue Jays, reports Jon Morosi of MLB.com. Last night Morosi reported that the sides were near a deal.

This extension is, functionally, like adding a year on to his old deal, which paid him $26 million for the 2016-17 seasons. As Bill noted last night. while the 34-year-old right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176.2 innings this year and has improved in the second half.