ARLINGTON, Texas (BVM) – The Texas Rangers announced the dismissal of manager Chris Woodward. Over three seasons and some change, Woodward led the Rangers to four consecutive losing seasons, going 211-287 including 51-63 this season. The former manager will be replaced by third base coach Tony Beasley who was named the interim manager for the remainder of the season and will look to get the most out of the over $500 million in free agent assets the team acquired in the offseason.
With a load of pressure on the next manager to get the squad back to its winning ways, it comes as no surprise that the Rangers will be scouring former great managers as well as some hot names from top teams when they begin their search. Here are the best candidates for the Rangers heading into the 2023 season.
5. Joe Maddon
Maddon is a players’ coach. That much was clear during his tenure with the Chicago Cubs and he has always been a strong locker room presence. The issue with Maddon doesn’t come with what he’s done on the field, though questionable strategies have been ridiculed during the tail-end of his time with the Los Angeles Angels, as his 1,382-1,216 career record, two pennants and the historic 2016 World Series win cannot be ignored, it’s his past few seasons in LA that are most alarming. Though highly talented, the Angels could never break into the playoffs under Maddon and being in the same division as the Rangers, replacing Woodward with another guy who couldn’t get it done in the AL West doesn’t seem like a wise move.
4. Matt Quatraro
This would be more of an admission of mistake rather than a move forward for the Rangers. After not hiring Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash in 2014, the Rangers started off strong with back-to-back playoff appearances but are in the midst of a six-year playoff drought. Meanwhile, the Rays started off slowly with three losing seasons before becoming legitimate World Series contenders over the past few seasons. While Cash is not available, his bench coach, Quatraro, would be. In Quatraro, the Rangers would bring in a similar strategy deployed by Cash that has brought the Rays their success. However, Quatraro would be a first-time manager which the Rangers have hired the past four cycles and that still hasn’t gotten them an elusive World Series championship. It would be interesting to see if recorrecting a wrong would play out favorably in Arlington this go around.
3. Ron Washington
As great of a story this could be with Washington potentially returning to the Rangers, the only franchise he’s ever been a manager for, it would be an interesting situation to say the least. Washington’s tenure in Arlington was certainly successful as he went 664-611 with two AL pennants and two World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011. Since leaving the Rangers, Washington has become a great second man in the league, specifically with the Atlanta Braves where he helped the team win the World Series in 2021. However, the idea of rehashing the past just eight years after Washington stepped down from the position in a cloud of controversy seems like it would be a tough sell. Given his history with the franchise, fans would be excited for his return, but given the way things ended the first go around would make things difficult for the Rangers right off the bat.
2. Joe Espada
This would be another familiar face to the Rangers, but one that may have a bit more potential than the previous entries. Espada, the Houston Astros‘ bench coach, was previously interviewed for the Rangers opening when they ended up hiring Woodward. While the Rangers struggled, Espada and the Astros soared over the past few seasons. Though this would once again be a first time manager, Espada would bring a combination of mature leadership learned from his mentor Dusty Baker as well as an excitement to the franchise from Texas fans who have had to notice the success in Houston. While there is risk with hiring first-time manager Espada, the reward could be too enticing to pass up.
1. Bruce Bochy
There’s sort of a big if attached to this entry. If the former San Francisco Giants‘ skipper is interested in the Rangers opening, the team should try their best to reel him in. With a 2,003-2,029 career record, four NL pennants and three World Series titles over 25 years, Bochy has the rare blend of both longevity and success. Though the Giants struggled during his final few seasons as manager from 2017-19, Bochy has had some years away from the game to reflect and more importantly take a break. Given his strong track record and ability to get the most out of his players, Bochy would be the perfect fit for what the Rangers are looking for. The biggest issue would be convincing him to come to Arlington after the former manager has decided to not throw his hat in the ring during the past couple of managerial hiring cycles.