The Dodgers are hiring former Rangers manager Chris Woodward as a special assistant in their front office, reports Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). He returns to the Los Angeles organization, where he spent three years as a member of Dave Roberts’ coaching staff before landing the top dugout job in Arlington.
Woodward, 46, played parts of 12 MLB seasons as a depth infielder. After retiring in 2012, he transitioned into his post-playing career. Woodward joined the Mariners as a minor league infield coordinator and was promoted to the big league coaching staff the next season. He spent two years on staff in Seattle before joining the Dodgers as third base coach over the 2015-16 offseason.
That experience set the stage for Woodward to receive a fair bit of managerial attention. He was mentioned as part of the Yankees’ search that went to Aaron Boone and the Blue Jays’ process that eventually led to Charlie Montoyo. Woodward landed the top gig for the first time during the 2018-19 offseason, tabbed to lead a rebuilding Rangers club on a three-year contract.
Texas signed him to an extension after two seasons, guaranteeing his contract through 2023. That was the opening move of an active offseason for the Rangers, one they hoped would result in a notable step forward in the on-field results. Full-fledged contention in 2022 wasn’t likely, but Texas brass surely anticipated laying the foundation for a postseason-caliber team by 2023.
That didn’t pan out. With the club carrying a 51-63 record in the middle of August, the Rangers fired Woodward. President of baseball operations Jon Daniels was himself dismissed not long thereafter. Texas turned to Tony Beasley as skipper on an interim basis for the stretch run and hired Bruce Bochy to permanently lead the charge this offseason. The Rangers went 211-287 over Woodward’s tenure, though they anticipated a fair number of losses early on.