Rangers extend Washington through 2015 season
Manager has most victories, highest winning percentage in franchise history
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- General manager Jon Daniels said there was never any question in his mind about Ron Washington being the Rangers manager beyond 2014. Now the Rangers have backed that belief with the symbolic gesture of a contract extension.
The Rangers announced Monday that Washington has been given a one-year contract extension through 2015. Washington's contract was set to expire after this upcoming season but Daniels was ready to continue what he calls a "partnership" that is entering its eighth season.
"We feel as strongly as we ever have about Wash and we expect that to continue for a long time," Daniels said at a late-afternoon press conference Monday. "He's a big part of who we are and what we are all about and is everything you would want in a leader."
Washington has been the Rangers manager since 2007 with a record of 611-524 and a winning percentage of .538. It's the most wins and highest winning percentage of any Rangers manager in history. It is also the fourth-most wins by a Major League manager since 2007.
Under Washington's leadership, the Rangers went to the World Series in 2010 for the first time in club history before losing to the Giants in five games. They repeated again in 2011 but lost to the Cardinals in seven games.
Washington, 61, is tied with San Diego's Bud Black and San Francisco's Bruce Bochy for the fourth-longest tenure among active managers. The only managers to have longer tenures with their current clubs are Mike Scioscia with the Angels (started in 2000), Ron Gardenhire of the Twins (2002) and Joe Maddon of the Rays ( 2006).
"I'm very appreciative of the support the Texas Rangers have given me," Washington said. "All I want to do is be the best manager I can for my players and my organization. Our partnership has been going for quite awhile, we've had some tremendous years and I look for many more to come."
Daniels said they talked about an extension a couple of times during the season and finalized it last week over dinner. Daniels added that he wasn't worried about any speculation Washington's job might be in danger without a contract extension going into the season.
"I didn't buy into that," Daniels said. "Maybe if you were talking about an inexperienced new manager, but you're talking about a tenured veteran guy who our team believes in and has followed into battle. He's a baseball man. That says it all. ... It's baseball 24/7. It's all about working hard and getting better; there are no shortcuts. He has been a good fit since Day One."
Daniels said the Rangers wanted to wait until the offseason was over and the team was put together for Spring Training before the extension was finalized.
"It was just a matter of time," Washington said. "We've talked a lot. I haven't woken up one time worrying about my status."
Daniels and Washington are both signed through 2015. Pitching coach Mike Maddux and other key members of the front-office staff have contracts that expire at the end of the coming season. Daniels said the Rangers will continue to keep any internal contract negotiations quiet.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.