ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have signed a contract extension with manager Chris Woodward through the 2023 season, with a club option for ‘24, the team announced on Friday.
Woodward’s club option for 2022 was previously picked up in March. The '22 campaign will be his fourth season as Rangers manager, having compiled a 160-224 record in that span.
Woodward was hired as Texas’ 19th manager in 2019 following a three-year stint as the third-base and infield coach for the Dodgers. He also held various coaching roles with the Mariners from 2013-15.
“It's really about how strongly we feel about Woody,” president of baseball operations Jon Daniels said in a Zoom press conference. “He is the leader on and off field the field, in the way he goes about pushing the group and consistency pushing that message throughout the organization. I just feel really strongly about him and how he goes about his business and who he is as a person. It's so genuine to see how much these guys respond to him and have genuine interest in playing for him and working with him. So I’m really excited about what we're going to accomplish together over a number of years ahead.”
Daniels said he felt like the deal was a “foregone conclusion” and an obvious deal to continue working with Woodward. Daniels also called him the heart and soul of the organization.
“It's humbling to hear that,” Woodward said. “Obviously, I definitely lead with my heart and I think JD knows that. ... At the same time, I feel like I have a responsibility taking on this job and keeping everybody moving in the right direction and holding our standards as high as possible. We haven’t won a lot the last few years and I take full blame for that. We need to be better, but we're moving in the right direction. Obviously. I think we're around that corner, and I can't wait for what's going to happen next."
"We’re excited to continue our partnership with Woody, and we are all committed to a shared vision for the direction of the ballclub," Daniels said. "He has helped to lay the foundation of our culture here at the Rangers, and we feel confident in his leadership abilities moving forward."
The extension shows the front office’s confidence in Woodward's ability to lead the club out of its rebuild in the coming years. Daniels and general manager Chris Young have repeatedly emphasized the importance of the culture Woodward has created, even if the records haven’t shown it.
Woodward has often been tasked with leading an inexperienced roster through a tough American League West division over his three years at the helm. With the Rangers’ commitment to spending this offseason, Woodward will seemingly have more to work with in the coming years.
Woodward’s extension also lines up with the club’s perceived future window of contention. Young, who is entering his second year as general manager, has said that the Rangers are building for 2022 and beyond. The commitment to Woodward illustrates that he is the choice to hopefully lead Texas to its first playoff appearance since 2016.
"After seeing Woody’s passion and consistency firsthand over the last year, extending our partnership is an easy decision," Young said. "I look forward to continuing our shared commitment to improving the club."
Daniels emphasized that he is confident with the shared vision across the front office and Woodward and his staff at the Major League level.
“Part of my mindset as we turn the corner and we start kind of getting good decision after good decision and building momentum and that leads to wins and leads to on-field success, I'm I look forward to being in a position to go advocate for for Woody coming off of a winning year and recommending a you know, longer and or bigger extension for him at that point,” Daniels said. “We have a lot of work to do, but it’s very clear that this is the leadership team that we believe is going to pull it together. We're going do it together.”