Hurdle excited for 'new era of Pirates baseball'

Manager shares strong feelings about trades of Cole, Cutch, but turning attention to current roster

January 19th, 2018

PITTSBURGH -- Pirates manager Clint Hurdle isn't going to try to tell anyone how they should react to his club trading and -- not even Pirates fans or players.

"Fans need to feel what they need to feel," Hurdle said Friday on MLB Network Radio. "What I am going to tell them is how excited I am to manage this club moving forward. It's an opportunity for us to start a new era of Pirates baseball."

Hurdle said Pirates management sat down to plot their course for the offseason back in October. The decision to part with McCutchen and Cole was particularly difficult for the Pirates' skipper. He managed McCutchen -- "one of the players that I have the most affection for," he said -- for the last seven seasons and watched Cole develop from the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 Draft into a solid Major League starter.

"The one thing we're guaranteed in sports and life is change, though. It doesn't make it easy. It makes it hard," Hurdle said. "When people pour into you and you pour into them, the relationships are real and there's a heartbeat attached to it, it makes it difficult when you say goodbye."

But now, Hurdle has to turn his attention to the current Pirates roster. He said he has spoken to each of the Pirates' six trade acquisitions: right-handers Joe Musgrove, and , outfield prospects and and third baseman .

Hurdle said he has also spoken to nearly everyone on the 25-man roster at some point this winter. That includes Josh Harrison, who recently said he would like to be traded if the Pirates won't contend the next two seasons. His message to Harrison sounded similar to what he would tell fans.

"I listened to him. I shared my thoughts. I shared the vision for our club," Hurdle said. "There's a whole bunch of guys in this clubhouse right now that can't wait to start playing. It's not about competing; it's about winning. It's about being a team that's got proven players on the field already; we've added to it. Everybody can have a different thought, a different mindset or different questions.

"Everybody needs to feel what they need to feel. Then there comes a point in time where we need to honor the past, own the present and create the future."

Minor Leaguer suspended

Right-hander Montana DuRapau, a reliever for Triple-A Indianapolis, received a 50-game suspension without pay after a second positive test for a drug of abuse. DuRapau's suspension will go into effect when the International League season begins.

DuRapau, 25, posted a 2.04 ERA with 15 saves, a 1.04 WHIP and 62 strikeouts in 53 innings over 42 appearances between Indianapolis and Double-A Altoona last season. He is not on Pittsburgh's 40-man roster.

Kang reapplying for visa

, who remains on Pittsburgh's restricted list, is reportedly making a last-ditch effort to secure a work visa that would allow him to enter the United States and, presumably, rejoin the Pirates. Kang has returned to the Dominican Republic -- where he was released by his winter ball team -- to apply for a U.S. work visa from the American embassy there, according to the Korean website

The Pirates have effectively moved on from Kang, which they demonstrated by acquiring Moran. Kang's previous visa application in South Korea was denied. While he is able to apply through another embassy, it seems unlikely Kang's application will be approved. He last played for the Pirates in 2016, before his third arrest for driving under the influence.