The Pittsburgh Pirates today officially announced that Neal Huntington has been hired as the team's new General Manager. The anticipated announcement was made by Pirates President Frank Coonelly.
"Neal's hiring is the result of a comprehensive search for a baseball executive who could restore the culture of success within the Pirates organization," said Coonelly.
"Neal is extremely intelligent, analytical and driven to succeed. He shares my vision on how to transform the Pirates into an organization that can consistently compete. Equally important, Neal knows how to implement the changes, systems and philosophies required to accomplish that goal. He is absolutely the right choice to lead our baseball operations department."
Huntington, 38, was special assistant to the general manager for the Cleveland Indians, acting as an advance scout and responsible for personnel recommendations and strategic planning.
He was Cleveland's assistant minor league director -- under current Pirates interim general manager Brian Graham -- in 1998. He became the Indians' minor league director in November 1998, then was named assistant general manager in November 2001.
In addition to his scouting, Mr. Huntington also was helping to plan the Indians' new spring training complex near Phoenix
"Pittsburgh is a proud sports city and the Pirates have a long and storied tradition. It is a tremendous honor to be named general manager of this great franchise" Huntington said in a statement. "We will systematically work to change the culture of this organization and to return it to a consistent winner for the city of Pittsburgh."
"To achieve our goal, we will thoroughly evaluate and aggressively seek to acquire elite talent internationally and domestically. We will diligently cultivate that talent on and off the field in a process-oriented player development system that demands accountability and excellence from all staff and players. Lastly, we will utilize that talent to build our major league roster and put our team in the best possible position to succeed."
More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.