1. Lame-duck years will not be regarded any differently by the Pirates than any other years, and allowing someone to enter a lame-duck year without an extension will not be seen as a lack of faith.
2. Coonelly would prefer that those under him never go into survival mode and attempt short-term solutions that deviate from the team’s overall plan. By not focusing on contract terms or arbitrary lame-duck precedents, the concept goes, those involved are less inclined to single out any year as one in which it would be OK to abandon the plan.
3. Coonelly displays a strong, genuine and unwavering confidence in Huntington and Russell.
With such a rapid turnover, it’s going to take some time -- and they’ll have a hard time avoiding an 18th straight losing season -- but as John Perrotto mentioned in his Top 10 prospect write-up for Baseball America, the club has spent more money ($18.7 million) over the past two drafts than any other team, even going overslot with regularity to secure their draft picks. With a farm system on the rise, there’s plenty of help on the way behind Andrew McCutchen.