It’s been a tumultuous week in the world of the Texas Rangers, with a manager Chris Woodward getting shot on Monday and president of baseball operations Jon Daniels following him out the door on Wednesday. With the departure of Daniels, general manager Chris Young took over as the chief baseball decision maker in Texas. However, Young apparently did not see this changed role coming, with the club’s managing partner Ray Davis recounting Kennedy Landry of MLB.com that Young was “shocked” by Daniels’ firing.
It’s certainly been an unusual journey for Young in recent years. The 43-year-old former big league pitcher pitched through the 2017 season and even signed a minor league deal with the Padres for 2018. He was later released and was hired by MLB in May of that year to be vice president of on-field operations. A little over two years later, in December of 2020, he was hired to be the general manager of the Rangers. In the tweet above, Landry reports that he and Daniels have worked almost side-by-side ever since. Given his less than two years of experience working for a major league baseball team’s front office, it seems fair to assume he learned a lot from Daniels, who was hired to be the Rangers’ general manager 17 years ago. Given that difference in their respective resumes, it’s hardly surprising that Young was caught off guard by the news, suddenly finding himself atop the decision pyramid after such a short time on the job.
Young spoke to Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News about his hectic week. “I tried to make sure that collectively everyone, especially the longest serving employees, had support just knowing the emotions they were going through,” Young said. “But I want to keep everyone focused on the task at hand. We have big things going on.”
Young was also asked about the future plans for the front office, possibly hiring a new president of baseball operations or possibly a new general manager with Young being promoted to the POBO role. “We will assess our needs as we go,” Young said on that subject. “It’s a natural part of the seasonal cycle. We’ll see what our needs are, how it looks going forward. We will probably lose some good employees to other organizations. That’s just part of the job. The first steps is to make sure we line up all our ducks. But it will be part of the discussion.” With the offseason now just over two months away, Young will have to act quickly to line up those Ducks.
Other notes from Texas…
- Promotion of perspective Josh Jung doesn’t seem to be close, with interim manager Tony Beasley saying as much to Jeff Wilson of Rangerstoday.com. Last winter, the young third baseman seemed like a candidate to crack the club’s Opening Day roster or at least make his major league debut shortly thereafter. However, he required shoulder surgery in February, which was expected to keep him out of action for six months and thus kick his debut down the road. He began a rehab assignment at the end of July and has been tearing the cover off the ball ever since. In eight games in the Major League, he hit .240/.345/.600, followed by seven Triple-A games with a line of .414/.485/1.034. That’s an incredible showing in that small sample, but the club believes this is Jung’s Spring Training, which means they’re focusing on getting his body re-acclimated to regular playing time. That news could be disappointing for fans of the club who are looking forward to seeing Jung tackle the big leagues before the offseason begins. However, it is worth pointing out that these things can change quickly. Just a few days ago, the Mets insisted they weren’t promoting their own young third baseman, Brett Baty, before announcing the very next day that he had indeed been summoned. Jung isn’t on the 40-man roster yet but will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft in a few months, meaning the Rangers will have to add him soon either way.
- With the sacking of Woodward, the club will have to think about who they want to be in the manager’s chair next year. Jon Heyman of the New York Post tweets that Red Sox bench coach Will Venable is one possible candidate. The 39-year-old played nine seasons in the majors, mostly with the Padres, before transitioning into other roles. In 2017, he joined the Cubs, first as a special assistant to president Theo Epstein, then spending some time as first base coach and third base coach. He became the Red Sox bench coach before the 2021 season and has been in that job since. This wouldn’t be the first time his name has been floated in management rumors, as he’s been linked to the Cubs, Giants and Astros through 2020, the Tigers and Red Sox through 2021 and the A’s through 2022. Considering that happened again. interest, it appears he has a strong reputation around the league and could receive consideration for vacancies again this winter. In addition to the Rangers, the Blue Jays, Phillies and Angels have fired their managers and hired temporary replacements this year.