Texas Rangers fire president of baseball operations Jon Daniels

ByESPN.com news services via logo
August 17, 2022, 12:49 PM

Jon Daniels, the president of baseball operations and former general manager, has been fired by the Texas Rangers after 17 years of leading the club.

Team owner Ray Davis said Wednesday that Daniels was being relieved of his duties immediately after the decision was made not to renew his contract at the end of this season.

Jon has always had the best interests of the Rangers organization in mind on and off the field and in the community," Davis said in a statement. "But the bottom line is we have not had a winning record since 2016 and for much of that time, have not been competitive in the AL West division.

"While I am certain we are heading in the right direction, I feel a change in the leadership of the baseball operations department will be beneficial going forward."

Texas will have a losing record for the sixth year in a row -- the franchise's longest such streak since moving to Texas a half-century ago -- unless it wins at least 29 of its last 46 games. 

Daniels' departure came two days after manager Chris Woodward was fired in his fourth season.

The Rangers' moves come less than nine months after a record offseason spending spree of more than a half-billion dollars.

Daniels was the youngest general manager ever in the majors when he got the job with the Rangers at age 28 in October 2005. He added the title of president of baseball operations in 2013 and held both titles until Chris Young was brought in as the team's general manager in December 2020.

"Jon's accomplishments in his 17 years running our baseball operations department have been numerous," Davis said in the statement. "... His impact on the growth of our player development, scouting, and analytics groups has been immense."

The Rangers made their only World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011, then won AL West titles again in 2015 and 2016. 

"I take a lot of responsibility for our performance over the last six years, and we haven't been good enough,'' Daniels said earlier this week. "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.''

Davis said Young, a former MLB pitcher and Dallas native, will assume oversight of all aspects of the baseball operations department. He was a senior vice president for Major League Baseball when he was hired by the Rangers as general manager.

"Chris Young is one of the top young baseball executives in the business and in his 21 months on the job has brought welcome energy and new ideas to the organization," Davis said. "I am confident in Chris' ability to lead our baseball operations with the goal of producing a consistent winner on the field."

The 6-foot-10 Young played baseball and basketball at Princeton before pitching in 13 major league seasons with five teams. He made his big league debut with the Rangers in 2004 and he won a World Series title with Kansas City in 2015.

The Rangers are clearly better than they were last season, when they lost 102 games before adding All-Star shortstop Corey Seager ($325 million, 10 years), Gold Glove second baseman Marcus Semien ($175 million, seven years) and starting pitcher Jon Gray ($56 million, four years).

Texas will get more looks at youngsters like speedy outfielders Leody Taveras and Bubba Thompson, infielders Josh Smith and Ezequiel Duran, and left-handed starter Cole Ragans, who are all already in the big leagues.

"We want to continue to create a competitive, energetic team that takes the field night in, night out prepared to win," Young said. "And I think that we want to see improvement in our fundamentals, just the basic fundamentals. It's something that we haven't executed those at the level we need to to become a championship team.''

The next full-time manager will be the fourth for Texas since 2005. Interim manager Tony Beasley, the third base coach since 2015 and longest-tenured member of the coaching staff, will be given consideration for the full-time job.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.