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Pirates ink manager Derek Shelton to contract extension

The deal comes after the Bucs’ 14-7 start to the season.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Colorado Rockies Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates know who will lead them for the foreseeable future.

After leading the Pirates to their best start since the early 1990s, the Pirates reached an agreement on a contract extension with manager Derek Shelton on Saturday. General Manager Ben Cherington did not disclose specifics of the extension, but said it will go past 2023.

Shelton has had an... interesting career in Pittsburgh. His first season was during the truncated 2020 season that was marred by the COVID-19 pandemic. In that year, the Pirates finished 19-41 and slashed a collective .220/.284/.357. Meanwhile, pitching finished with a 4.68 combined ERA and a 4.80 FIP.

The Pirates then finished 61-101 and 62-100 the following two seasons, but started 14-7 with two series sweeps in 2023. Overall, he has accumulated a 156-249 record prior to Saturday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds.

Fans have debated whether Shelton was good as a manager or if he was dealt a rough hand when he took over. Needless to say, it’s a little bit of both.

On one side, he is a players’ manager and does everything he can to keep a positive atmosphere in the clubhouse. He’s also had very little to work with over the years in terms of talent.

Just to go over some of the names that Shelton was, essentially, forced to use in games over the years: Miguel Del Pozo, Josh VanMeter, Yoshi Tsutsugo, Ka’ai Tom, Phillip Evans, John Nogowski, Wilmer Difo, Bryse Wilson, Zach Thompson, Anthony Banda, Anthony Alford, Derek Holland, Cole Tucker, JT Riddle, John Ryan Murphy, Nik Turley, and Sam Howard.

Now, try winning games with those guys.

This year, and now years to come, Shelton has a chance to showcase what he can do with actual Major League talent.

Shelton’s contract was up after this season, and since no details are released, one would expect it to range between two and four years.

Now, let’s lock up some players.