Pirates pick up Hurdle's option for 2014

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced Tuesday that they have exercised manager Clint Hurdle's contract option for the 2014 season while adding a club option for 2015.

Hurdle's original three-year deal was set to expire at the conclusion of the upcoming campaign.

"Clint's leadership, infectious positive energy, passion and knowledge transcend the clubhouse and we believe he is the right man to help us return championship caliber baseball to Pittsburgh," said general manager Neal Huntington.

The Pirates hired Hurdle in November 2010 after the club suffered through a 57-105 season. The team has improved dramatically under the 55-year-old 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.

"I feel privileged to have the opportunity to continue and finish what we started," said Hurdle. "There's no place I would rather be than in a Pirates uniform."

Prior to joining the Pirates, Hurdle spent parts of eight seasons as the manager for the Colorado Rockies. He guided the club to the NL pennant in 2007, but was let go 46 games into 2009.