The Rangers announced Friday that manager Chris Woodward has been extended through the 2023 season with a club option for the 2024 campaign. Woodward was previously under contract only through the 2022 campaign, which will be his fourth year managing the club.
“We’re excited to continue our partnership with Woody, and we are all committed to a shared vision for the direction of the ballclub,” president of baseball operations Jon Daniels said in a statement within today’s press release. “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 Rangers have gone 160-224 under Woodward, although the team didn’t make much of an effort to contend this past season. Rather, the 2021 campaign was, by design, dedicated to paring back payroll and giving younger players the opportunity to cement themselves as future regulars. That didn’t work out in all cases, though Texas certainly has to be encouraged by strides seen from Adolis Garcia, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Dane Dunning and Joe Barlow, among others.
The 2022 season will carry more of a win-now mindset, as the Rangers plan to be aggressive in their pursuit of free agents this winter with a nearly-blank payroll slate moving forward. It’s not realistic to forecast a return an immediate return to contention, regardless of who they sign off the open market, but with several other key prospects rising through the system (e.g. third baseman Josh Jung, right-hander Jack Leiter), the 2023 Rangers could have the makings of a competitive club.
Woodward’s extension is yet another reminder of the fact that managers are evaluated based off far more than wins and losses — and generally off a slate of factors that aren’t even visible to the public eye.
“After seeing Woody’s passion and consistency first-hand over the last year, extending our partnership is an easy decision,” general manager Chris Young said in his own statement today. “I look forward to continuing our shared commitment to improving the club.”