Hurdle set for new deal in Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Pirates are reportedly set to extend the contract of manager Clint Hurdle.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the team will likely make the announcement later this week, possibly Wednesday when club chairman Bob Nutting is in Bradenton for an event at spring training.

The paper said the extension will take Hurdle through the 2014 season with a club option for 2015. His original three-year deal was set to expire at the conclusion of the upcoming season, although the Pirates also had an option for next year.

Hurdle was hired in November 2010 after the Pirates suffered through a 57-105 season. The team has improved dramatically under Hurdle, winning 72 games in 2011 and 79 last year.

However, both campaigns started with promise and ended with late-season swoons.

The Pirates were in first place in late July of 2011 before finishing fourth in the NL Central with a mark of 72-90. Last year, they were in first place as late as July 18 and appeared set to at least finish above .500 for the first time since 1992, but a 9-23 finish sent them to a losing record for the 20th straight season.