Pirates Hire Derek Shelton as Next Manager

Jared Martin

After two long months of not having a manager, the Pittsburgh Pirates have finally made their choice - Derek Shelton. Shelton served as the bench coach of the Minnesota Twins this past season. 

Earlier in the week, it was reported that the search was narrowed to Shelton and Rays bench coach, Matt Quatraro. The general feeling was that the difference between the two was negligible and that Ben Cherington really couldn't go wrong either way.

Shelton's background is as a hitting coach, with the bulk of that experience coming by way of a seven-year stint with the Tampa Bay Rays. Shelton was fired from that role in 2016 and moved on to the Toronto Blue Jays where he was the quality control coach. He spent only one season there, but could have strengthened a valuable connection that helped him land the job in Pittsburgh. It was there that he had the chance to work with Ben Cherington. Cherington said in his statement that he's known Shelton for years, but this recent connection in Toronto may have helped.

Derek Shelton will now be tasked with assembling a staff that has either been vacant or in limbo during the months we have been awaiting a hire. Among those new hires will be to replace the recently fired Ray Searage as pitching coach.

Here is what general manager, Ben Cherington said of the hire:

“I have known Derek for more than 15 years and have great admiration for his passion for the game and players, work ethic, curiosity, and desire to learn. He has worked and learned from some of the best in the game, and in turn has helped players and colleagues learn and improve during his 20 years of coaching and managing. We are confident Derek will help lead an elite playing and coaching environment at the Major League level and be a true partner to all of baseball operations as we challenge each other to get better every day. I want to thank our entire baseball operations group for their tireless work over the past several weeks of this search. We are thrilled to get to work with Derek and continue building toward a winning team in Pittsburgh.”

Shelton also spoke on his new opportunity:

"I very much look forward to developing a strong partnership with Ben and the baseball operations staff. It is going to be an exciting change of culture in our clubhouse. It is going to be a fun environment in which we will all be held accountable to each other. It will be a player-centric culture built on strong communication and relationships with our players, our staff and the entire organization. We will begin to establish those relationships this offseason prior to coming together as a team in Bradenton this February"

It was interesting to see the term "player-centric" come up again. This time from Shelton. The Pirates' leadership seems intentional about developing a them for the

Follow Jared on Twitter: @a_piratelife

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