The Rangers announced on Friday that they have exercised their 2018 club option over manager Jeff Banister and added a new club option for the 2019 season to his contract as well. Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets that Banister essentially receives an entirely new contract, as he not only secures a 2019 option but also receives a salary raise.
That the decision on Banister comes well before the Rangers had any urgency to make the call indicates how pleased the front office and ownership was with the job that Banister did in 2015 — his first year as a big league manager. In terms of on-field results, there’s little for Rangers decision-makers to be unhappy with. Few pegged the injury-ravaged Rangers to contend in 2015, especially after ace Yu Darvish missed the season due to Tommy John surgery, but Banister’s club ultimately won the America League West on the strength of an 88-74 record. The Rangers’ strong performance under Banister earned him American League Manager of the Year honors in his rookie season as a skipper.
Banister’s Rangers enter the 2016 season with greater expectations. Darvish will return to the picture for much of the upcoming campaign, and the Rangers will enjoy a full season of trade-deadline acquisition Cole Hamels as well. Derek Holland and Martin Perez each hope to be ready for a full season as well after missing significant time early on in 2015.