ARLINGTON -- Acknowledging that they are in a rebuilding mode that is going to take time, the Rangers ownership reaffirmed their faith in Jon Daniels as president of baseball operations and general manager to continue to lead the way.The Rangers announced on Thursday that ownership had reached an agreement with
ARLINGTON -- Acknowledging that they are in a rebuilding mode that is going to take time, the Rangers ownership reaffirmed their faith in Jon Daniels as president of baseball operations and general manager to continue to lead the way.
The Rangers announced on Thursday that ownership had reached an agreement with Daniels on a multiyear contract extension. The exact terms and length of the extension were not made public, but Daniels' current contract was set to expire at the end of the season.
"This is really about ownership showing their faith in what we are building, the direction we are going and the team we have in place on the field and in the front office," Daniels said. "We are not where we want to be by any means, but we are making progress. We are not where we want to be, but we are going to get there. There is a sense of urgency not in a quick fix but to make progress in putting the building blocks in place and keep going.
"We are pushing every day to make progress in a variety of areas. Our focus is on re-establishing the foundation for a long-term sustainable model to win for a long period of time."
As for now, Daniels said the Rangers will continue to focus on developing their young players at the big league level and rebuilding the farm system. The Rangers have not identified themselves as sellers in the upcoming trade market.
It is clear, though, that the Rangers are positioning themselves to be ready to go down that path if other teams are interested in their players. Pitcher Cole Hamels could be at the top of the list for clubs looking at pitching, but it is likely the Rangers would be willing to explore any possibility -- including a trade involving Adrian Beltre -- that will improve the team in the future.
"It really depends on a variety of things," Daniels said. "The biggest one is what interest is out there. Right now, we are of the mindset to identify players in other organizations that we're interested in. We'll be prepared if teams come to us and want to discuss our guys. It has to be demand-driven."
Daniels acknowledged that the Rangers farm system has thinned in terms of talent because of the many trades made in pursuit of postseason success over the past several years. The Rangers do feel good about their talent in the lower levels of the system, a group that includes outfielders Leody Taveras and Julio Pablo Martinez and pitchers Jonathan Hernandez and Hans Crouse, among many others.
But Daniels said the Rangers aren't going to rush that talent through the system or identify when they expect to be back to full contending mode again.
"I don't want to put a timeline on it," Daniels said. "Sometimes these things go quicker and sometimes they take longer. We are going to put a lot of detail into the small stuff and that could accelerate the timeline."
Daniels said he doesn't regret the trades made in trying to get the Rangers to the postseason over the past several years. He did admit that going forward, the Rangers need to be more careful with their young players when it comes to making midseason deals.
"I don't think anybody regrets stepping on the gas and trying to win when it is in front of us," Daniels said. "But some of those deals were for the short term and we could have taken a little longer view. Some of those short-term deals weren't going to push us across the finish line."
The Rangers have been to the postseason in five of the past eight seasons. Daniels became GM in October 2005 and oversaw a Rangers team that reached the World Series for the first time in 2010. They repeated as American League champions in 2011, reached the postseason as a Wild Card team in 2012 and won division titles in 2015 and '16.
Ray Davis, the Rangers' co-chairman and managing general partner, issued the following statement in regard to Daniels:
"Coming into this season, extending Jon Daniels' contract was a priority for us. His track record demonstrates clearly that he is the right person to lead the Rangers back to contending for championships once again. Over the last decade, the Rangers have the fifth-best winning percentage in the Major Leagues and have gone to the playoffs five times in a period of success unsurpassed in franchise history.
"Our ownership group trusts Jon's judgment and respects his experience and skill as well as that of his baseball operations leadership team. Their approach to building the roster includes creatively exploring every avenue to improve the ballclub and our farm system. The quality of the player development operation they have built is respected throughout Major League Baseball. Jon and his group understand the challenges ahead and are working diligently to build a Major League team that will be competitive for years to come. We are fortunate to have Jon leading our baseball operations as we enter into what will be a very exciting time for the Texas Rangers franchise."
Daniels is in his 13th season as GM. The title of president of baseball operations was added in 2013 but he continues to do both jobs, as opposed to other organizations that split the duties. Daniels said he is not opposed to doing that at some point in the future.
As far as manager Jeff Banister, his situation was not addressed on Thursday, but there is no urgency. He is signed through the 2019 season.
"[Banister] is in a good spot," Daniels said. "We have a great relationship. We really enjoy working together. All our conversations have been positive on the things that we have been emphasizing. The performance on the field has been getting better and the individual players are getting better.
"That's the important thing. The message from ownership is they are pleased with the direction of the team and the development of our young players. That's the No. 1 thing they want to see."
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.