Woodward to be Rangers' next manager

Woodward to be Rangers' next manager

Chris Woodward Dodgers Chris Woodward Dodgers

by TR Sullivan MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers' managerial search is finally over. Dodgers third-base coach Chris Woodward has been selected as Texas' next manager, sources and MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi confirmed Friday night.

Woodward interviewed with the Rangers on Thursday and the club made a decision Friday night, a month after the season ended. Woodward was one of at least 11 candidates who interviewed for the position.

The Rangers have not confirmed the move, but an official announcement could come as early as Saturday. General manager Jon Daniels is expected to attend the GM Meetings beginning Monday in California.

Woodward, 42, and a native of Covina, Calif., will be the 19th full-time manager in Rangers history. He replaces Jeff Banister, who was dismissed toward the end of last season. Woodward was born in the same Southern California town as former Rangers infielder Michael Young and they are the same age, although they played at different high schools.

Woodward, an infielder, was a 54th-round Draft pick by the Blue Jays in 1994 and made his Major League debut with the Blue Jays in 1999. He was ahead of Young in Toronto's system. That may have been why the club found Young expendable and traded him to the Rangers in 2000, while he was still in Double-A.

Woodward spent 12 years in the Major Leagues from 1999-2007 and 2009-11, playing for the Blue Jays, Mets, Braves, Mariners and Red Sox. He retired after spending the 2012 season in Triple-A. He began his post-playing career as an infield instructor in the Mariners' organization and became their first-base coach in 2015.

He joined the Dodgers as their third-base coach in 2016 and was on manager Dave Roberts' staff when they went to two World Series in 2017-18. His only managerial experience was with New Zealand in the 2016 World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament. He was drafted out of high school, but has a college degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix.

Woodward was chosen over a variety of candidates, including Rangers bench coach Don Wakamatsu and farm director Jayce Tingler. Wakamatsu, who served the final 10 games as interim manager after Banister was dismissed, will likely be given a chance a chance to stay in the organization.

Tingler is expected to be on the Major League staff in some capacity, but the entire coaching staff is in flux until the new manager takes over. Hitting coaches Anthony Iapoce and Justin Mashore have already left the organization.

There has been no decision on pitching coaches Doug Brocail and Dan Warthen. Brocail has been the Rangers' pitching coach for the past three seasons, while Warthen joined him as an assistant this past season.

Also in limbo are first-base coach Steve Buechele, third-base coach Tony Beasley and bullpen coach Hector Ortiz. All three are highly regarded by the organization, but the new manager will have some input into his coaching staff. Buechele and Beasley were hoping to be interviewed for the manager's job but that did not happen.

Rangers beat

The Rangers also made changes in their front office Friday, hiring Matt Blood as director of player development and promoting Paul Kruger to director of Minor League operations. They will both work under Mike Daly, who is the Rangers' assistant general manager in overall charge of the farm system and international scouting.

Blood has been with USA Baseball for the past three years as director of the 18 and Under National Team Program. Prior to that, he spent seven years as an area scout in the Cardinals' organization.

"Very creative and a forward-thinker," Daniels said. "I think as we continue to evaluate ourselves as an organization, there is value in challenging ourselves with different schools of thought."

Kruger has spent nine years with the Rangers, the last three as assistant director of player development.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger

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