The weekly Neal Huntington Show was on 93.7 The Fan this afternoon. Huntington was back at PNC Park for a live sit down with Pirates announcer Greg Brown. As always, we give you a snapshot of the show and are careful to advise we get small portions of what the Pirates GM said, not exact quotes. Enjoy.
Greg asked Neal about five of first ten draft picks coming to terms along with the 12th as reported by Tim from Pirates Prospects.
It felt like Huntington knew the question was coming, but didn’t exactly dance around it. He never denied the report. He simply said that the team won’t confirm until everything is in order –physical, etc. He said that a player might tell family he has the deal done and word spreads, however Huntington said it’s not over until the player comes to Pittsburgh for a physical. Huntington mentioned that the team has an extensive physical for players to pass. It would be very apparent a player failed a physical if the team announced prior to the test, Huntington added.
Neal said it’s the start of the process and once the physical is passed the team will sit down with the player get the contract signed and get out a press release.
So in other words, once the players have the physicals complete, some new faces will be in the Bucs organization. (Great work as always by Tim.)
Huntington feels there will be two types of signings. Those that occur in the first week to ten days—-and then those players who wait till July 13th to get completed. He didn’t sound too concerned or was working his negotation angle as Greg Brown told him that he appeared very relaxed. Huntignton said that maybe it was from having enough depth from prior years work so “I don’t see a lot of senior signs.” He then added that the Pirates might not sign as many players as other MLB teams based on the youth that they targeted.
On Mark Appel the same questions that have circulated were gone over for about seven or eight minutes. This was the money quote: “We are going to work hard to get Appel deal done. We’re optimistic. Later in the interview he said, We will put our best offer on the table that we can in running an organization the right way, the way it’s supposed to be ran.
Huntington also added that it makes no sense to the team to lose future picks with this draft.
The Bucs GM spoke glowingly of how Stetson Allie has performed. He said that Allie has perhaps the best raw power outside of Josh Bell in the system. Huntington added that Allie had become robotic in his pitching delivery.
Unfortunately, Brown missed the money question of where Huntington can see Allie playing this season. It would be nice to have a definitive answer on that subject. (Maybe next week.)
The Pirates will have to make a decision on Jeff Karstens in the next nine days. Huntington said that Karstens would have rejoined the rotation if he would have made it through his start healthy. They will keep Karstens throwing on flat ground to keep his arm in play before they make a decision.
No mention was made of Robbie Grossman’s lack of playing time which was disappointing. We hear it’s a maturity issue, but didn’t get any scoop. If you heard any scoop leave it in the comments.