Neal Huntington On Pirates Offseason: 'We Went For It Aggressively This Summer'

The GM Says Their Most Aggressive Move For Next Year Came At The Trade Deadline

Kraig Riley
November 12, 2018 - 3:50 pm
Pirates GM Neal Huntington

Credit Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports.jpg

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The FAN) - The Pirates exceeded expectations last year with their 82-79 record and finished the season strong, with signs of hope for 2019.

Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington joined The PM Team with Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller to talk about how they'll build off that success and if there are big plans in the works for this offseason.

"We went for it aggressively this summer," Huntington said, referencing the blockbuster trade for starter Chris Archer and the trade for reliever Keone Kela.  "They're two players we believed would help the 2018 club, again our August didn't show that, our September we believe did.  But we felt that that was the ability to impact our 2019 and 2020 clubs as well by making an aggressive move in the summer time and we felt that that was the one access point we would have to talent at that level."

Speaking of the 2019 club, Huntington was asked if he views his starting rotation as complete or a work in progress at this point with Jameson Taillon, Chris Archer, Joe Musgrove, Trevor Williams and Ivan Nova.

"A lesson learned a long time ago, as soon as you feel like you have enough pitching, you're about 10 pitchers short.  Sop we'll continue to explore what's out there.  We'll continue to be creative and we do like our internal options, but that doesn't mean we won't look to find ways to allocate or reallocate or get creative or find ways to get better."

One addition the team could make for 2019 is actually an internal option in Jung Ho Kang, who they recently brought back on a one-year deal reportedly worth $3 million.

Related: Pirates Re-Sign Jung Ho Kang

So, what are the plans for the controversial infielder?

"See where he is, that's the most important part," Huntington told us.  "We like Colin Moran, we like Josh Bell on the corners as young players that are growing and developing, but we also like the power that Kang brings.  We like the defense that he brings if he's that player again, and to add some depth and some options and some versatility to this club.  We thought that it was a worthwhile chance to take and potentially at good value."

Click the audio link below to hear more from the Pirates GM on these topics as well as who they like at shortstop and second base next year, their long-term plans for Corey Dickerson, how they'll compensate at the start of  the year for the loss of Gregory Polanco and more!