Coonelly supports Huntington, but no new deal

Coonelly supports Huntington, but no new deal

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Pirates president Frank Coonelly confirmed on Saturday that the team did not extend the contract of general manager Neal Huntington over the winter, as had been the case one year earlier. That means that Huntington's contract is set to expire after the 2011 season.

In addition, Coonelly provided a vote of confidence for Huntington, who is entering his fourth season as the team's GM.

"He's under contract for this season, and it's our expectation that Neal will be here for a long time," Coonelly said. "We'll continue to evaluate it as we go forward.

Similar questions about Huntington's status were asked at this time last spring. At that time, Coonelly said he preferred not to comment on contractual discussions. He held that stance until June, when word leaked out that the Pirates had quietly given Huntington a one-year extension over the winter.