Rangers GM Daniels gets contract extension
Jon Daniels was the youngest general manager ever in the major leagues when the Texas Rangers put him in that position nine years ago.
Daniels now has a new contract that will take him into his 40s with the team he helped direct to its only two World Series appearances before an injury-plagued 95-loss season.
With a three-year extension Friday, the 37-year-old Daniels is signed with Texas through the 2018 season.
”When I first got the job, actually that was the story, the novelty of my age,” said Daniels, who was then 28. ”After a while, whether you’re 30, 50 or 70, it’s about it’s about production, it’s about performance. … That’s ultimately how you’re going to be judged.”
Thad Levine, the assistant GM under Daniels all nine years, also got a three-year extension through 2018.
Texas won AL pennants in 2010 and ’11 as part of four consecutive 90-win seasons. The Rangers were plagued injuries this year to ace pitcher Yu Darvish and the two key additions last offseason: slugger Prince Fielder and outfielder Shin-Soo Choo.
”I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished overall,” said Daniels, who also holds the title president of baseball operations. ”This past season was not what we’re about. … We feel very good about the product we’re going to be putting out there for the foreseeable future.”
In a statement Friday from ownership, co-chairmen Ray Davis and Bob Simpson said the deals for Daniels and Levine were a top offseason priority.
”Under Jon’s and Thad’s leadership, the Rangers have created a strong overall organization that has combined major league success with a productive scouting and player development operation over a number of years,” their statement read. ”Jon and Thad are skilled executives who are well respected around the game and completely committed to once again delivering a winning team for our fans.”
After manager Ron Washington resigned for personal reasons with three weeks left in the season, the Rangers hired Jeff Banister as their new manager. Banister is signed through 2017 with an option for 2018.
Levine spent six seasons with Colorado before becoming Daniels’ top assistant. He has taken a more active role in the team’s international scouting and other duties that had been held by A.J. Preller, who left the Rangers this summer to become San Diego’s general manager.
Daniels joined the Rangers organization in 2002, three years before replacing John Hart as general manager.
”This is still very much a dream job. I have pinch-me moments all the time, and try never get to a point where you take it for granted,” Daniels said. ”That’s pretty remarkable to think about, this is going to be our 10th year doing this, which is amazing. … I don’t get too far ahead of myself. We’ve got a ton to do right now.”