ARLINGTON -- When Rangers president of baseball operations Jon Daniels announced Monday that manager Chris Woodward was being relieved of his duties, he had no idea his dismissal would follow just two days later. But Rangers majority owner Ray Davis did.
“It's something I've been contemplating for several months,” Davis said prior to the Rangers' 7-2 loss to the A's on Wednesday. “I guess it was Monday of this week, Jon and Chris [general manager Chris Young] came in and wanted to relieve Woody of his responsibilities. I didn't want to connect the two and didn't want [Daniels' dismissal] to be done at the same time.”
Young -- who will inherit all duties, including oversight of all aspects of the Rangers’ baseball operations department -- also was unaware that Daniels was to be dismissed.
“Chris was shocked,” Davis said. “He didn’t have an idea.”
The moves came after the Rangers posted a 51-63 record through Sunday, including a 7-24 mark in one-run games, after an offseason spending spree to land marquee free agents Corey Seager and Marcus Semien.
Young was hired in December 2020 as general manager to work alongside Daniels. The two have worked side by side over the last year and a half to lead the Rangers’ front office. This has been Young’s only front-office experience since retiring from Major League Baseball following the 2017 season. The former pitcher was hired as the Rangers general manager after three years of working in the Commissioner’s Office.
“I think Chris will come in with a new vigor and new enthusiasm and be able to build an organization, and we can be consistent for many years,” Davis said. “As we prepare for the offseason … and all the things that the GM has to do during the offseason, I felt Chris needed a running start on the season, and that's why we did it now.”
Daniels joined the Rangers' baseball operations department in 2002 and was named the team's general manager on Oct. 4, 2005. He was given the title of president of baseball operations in March 2013.
Daniels oversaw the most successful stretch in franchise history, which included American League pennants in 2010 and '11, as well as additional AL West titles in '15 and '16. But the Rangers are in the midst of their sixth straight losing season, including last-place finishes in '20 and '21.
“Jon’s accomplished a great deal for the 17 years he's been general manager,” Davis said. “He put together two of our best ever baseball teams, including two World Series appearances, and I personally don't feel like he got enough credit for doing that.
"The bottom line is we're not good. And we haven't been good for six years. The bottom line is to be competitive going forward, I felt that we needed to make a change. … I'm grateful to Jon for the value he's brought to the Texas Rangers organization, for his honesty, his integrity and dignity that he brought to the job. He always thought first of the Texas Rangers.”
When asked after Woodward’s dismissal whether Daniels should take accountability for the roster construction throughout the last six losing seasons, Daniels was truthful in his assessment of himself while noting it would be addressed down the line.
“Down the line” turned out to be less than 48 hours later.
"I take a lot of responsibility for our performance over the last six years, and we haven't been good enough,'' Daniels said on Monday. "As far as my role in the organization, we have made a meaningful change in that endeavor by bringing in C.Y. in his role and as well as others. But ultimately, this is a team effort. When we were good, it wasn't about me. It's always been a team effort. We have a ways to go. We have a lot of good people here.''
While the Rangers have not won a lot over the last six years, the last two seasons have been a full-scale rebuild, overseen mostly by Daniels. The Rangers have not yet fully emerged from the rebuild, and Daniels will not get the chance to see it through.
But Davis -- like Young and Daniels on Monday after Woodward’s dismissal -- acknowledged it’s about more than just the wins and losses. It's the structure of the organization, both on and off the field, and how it affected the play between the lines.
“We accepted the plan on a rebuild, yes,” Davis said. “But as we look forward, even though Jon proved that he could build a winning organization, I felt like Chris was the right guy to lead us forward.”