Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is signed through the 2017 season with a club option for the ’18 season. The Pirates have not approached Hurdle about a contract extension that would keep him in town beyond that, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
In six seasons under Hurdle’s leadership, the Pirates have gone 509-462 (.524) with three consecutive playoff appearances from 2013-15. Their ’13 appearance ended a 21-year playoff drought, but they ultimately lost to the Cardinals in five games in the NLDS.
Hurdle, a baseball lifer, has been praised for his willingness to work with a front office under GM Neal Huntington that has been among the most statistically-inclined. The Pirates’ reliance on statistics has led to an abundance of shifts, a trend that has become more and more popular in baseball.
Biertempfel suggests that, if the Pirates choose to move on from Hurdle after the 2017 season, bench coach Tom Prince could be the next in command. Prince managed the Williamsport Crosscutters (short-season Single-A) in 2005-06, which was then the Pirates’ minor league affiliate. He managed the Pirates’ Gulf Coast League team in 2007. In 2014, he managed the Pirates’ advanced Single-A team in Bradenton and was promoted to manage Double-A Altoona the next season.
Free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo is headed back to the Brewers on a major league deal, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports. No other terms have been reported yet, as the agreement is still pending a physical.
Gallardo, 31, completed a one-year run with the Mariners before getting his $13 million option declined by the team last month. He provided little value during his time in Seattle, pitching to a 5-10 record in 22 starts and putting up a 5.72 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.5 SO/9 in 130 2/3 innings as both a starter and reliever.
Still, assuming the veteran righty is on the cusp of a comeback, he may as well try for it with his original club. Gallardo last appeared for the Brewers from 2007 to 2014, racking up a cumulative 20.8 fWAR and peaking during the 2010 season, when he earned his first All-Star nomination and Silver Slugger award. This will be his ninth career season with the club.
Even with Gallardo aboard, the Brewers are expected to continue deepening their pitching stores for 2018. With team ace Jimmy Nelson still recovering from shoulder surgery, the club will enter the season with a projected rotation of Gallardo, Zach Davies, Chase Anderson and Junior Guerra, the latter of whom pitched just 70 1/3 innings in 2017 following a right calf strain and shin contusion. Another big name pitcher could help cement Milwaukee’s rotation and keep them competitive for another year, though they don’t appear to have made any concrete moves in that direction so far.