Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has come under fire each of the past three seasons, but with a third consecutive year with an underperforming team, many feel Hurdle’s seat should be red hot as head down the final weeks of the regular season.
Even though Hurdle’s should be on the hot seat and many fans are calling for his job, that won’t be the case.
While he should be headed towards the unemployment line, Hurdle has all the job security in the world.
Ideally he could go 10-152 next season and his job will be safe.
Why you ask?
Bob Nightingale of the USA TODAY recently wrote a column about how the salaries of MLB managers have been decreasing.
One would think that given the Pirates history of being frugal when it comes to their payroll that they would follow in that trend when it came to their manager.
That’s not the case at all.
When Hurdle signed his four-year extension after two losing seasons in 2016 and 2017, many naturally assumed that his deal would pay him annually around the bottom third of the league.
Instead, Hurdle is the seventh highest paid manager in baseball, pulling down $3 million per season.
He’s the third highest paid manager in the National League and has the longest contract of any manager currently in the National League Central.
So everyone that wants to see a change made in the Pirates dugout, pump the brakes.
It’s never going to happen.
Bob Nutting was never going to pay two managers as if he were to fire Hurdle, he would still be on the hook for the remaining three years of his contract.
He certainly isn’t going to pay Hurdle $3 million a season to sit at home.
That alone gives Hurdle perhaps the greatest job security of any manager in baseball.
You can wish and prey all you want for a new manager, but it’s not going to happen.
Five collapses in eight years don’t matter.
A team lacking in fundamentals in every aspect of the game doesn’t matter either.
All that matters is the $9 million that will be left on Hurdle’s contract after this season.
After the past two seasons could you fathom giving Hurdle a four-year, $12 million deal?
There’s $12 million reasons why he runs a guy like Sean Rodriguez out there as much as he has this season. There’s $12 million reasons why Hurdle always take the hot bat out of the lineup for underperforming veterans or the way he mishandles his bullpen.
What’s the front office going to do fire him?
Hurdle knows it’s not going to happen and he will continue to do what he does and will have the same poor results.
Instead of turning the middle infield over to Kevin Newman and Kevin Kramer in September to get them experience, expect to see Jordy Mercer and Josh Harrison in the lineup almost every day once they are both healthy.
Instead of getting Adam Frazier some more reps in the outfield (if you were playing Kramer at second), expect him to run out the same lineup he always does.
There are decisions throughout a season that make baseball sense and there are the decisions that Hurdle makes.
Get used to it though Pirates fans, because it’s not going to change.
Not until at least 2022 anyway.