MLB

Rangers fire front office executive Jon Daniels after 17 seasons as upheaval continues in Texas

Just two days after firing manager Chris Woodward, the Rangers have parted ways with president of baseball operations Jon Daniels, the club announced Wednesday. General manager Chris Young — a former MLB pitcher — will assume oversight of front office operations, the club added. 

Daniels, 44, was named Rangers general manager on Oct. 4, 2005 at just 28 years old, making him the youngest GM in baseball history. He first joined the Rockies in 2001 as an intern and then applied for a job with the Rangers shortly thereafter. He was promoted to director of baseball operations by the end of the 2003 season. Less than a year later, he was promoted again, this time to assistant general manager. Once then-GM John Hart was fired, Daniels’ ascent to the top was complete. 

His success continued for a while. During Daniels’ tenure, the Rangers won their first two AL pennants and came within one out of their first World Series title. They won four AL West titles and went to the playoffs five times in a seven-year span. 

They have not, however, been to the playoffs since 2016. Their best full-season record since then was 78-84. The Rangers are currently 52-64, which has them 22 games out in the AL West and 9 1/2 games out of a playoff spot. 

“Jon’s accomplishments in his 17 years running our baseball operations department have been numerous. He and his staff put together the best teams in this franchise’s history that resulted in five playoff appearances and two American League pennants between 2010 and 2016. His impact on the growth of our player development, scouting, and analytics groups has been immense. Jon has always had the best interests of the Rangers organization in mind on and off the field and in the community, team owner Ray 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.”

From the sounds of things, Young will be the permanent replacement for Daniels instead of the team going outside the organization to hire a new boss. 

“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.” 

Young spent parts of 13 seasons in the majors, making an All-Star team with the Padres and winning a World Series ring with the 2015 Royals. A product of Princeton, he didn’t remain out of work long after he was done playing. He was hired by MLB as the vice president of on-field operations, initiatives and strategy less than a year after retiring. He remained an executive with MLB until the Rangers named his general manager in December of 2020. 

The Rangers bottomed out last season at 60-102. They went on a spending spree this past offseason, adding both Corey Seager (10 years, $325 million) and Marcus Semien (seven years, $175 million) from the shortstop class while also signing the likes of starting pitchers Jon Gray and Martín Pérez in addition to utility bat Brad Miller and outfielder Kole Calhoun

Though they went 17-10 in May, the Rangers have generally been either a mediocre or bad team this season. They have had some injuries, some under-performance from important players and have gone 7-24 in one-run games. They are believed to have a pretty strong farm system at present, so it’ll be up to Young to supplement the good and move forward. 



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