STEPHEN HAWKINS, AP Sports Writer
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington finally has a contract past this season.
After a busy offseason in which they added Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo to their lineup, and more than a week into spring training, the Rangers on Monday added a year to Washington’s contract through the 2015 season.
Washington is the team’s winningest manager with 611 wins over seven seasons, and led Texas to its only two World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011. The Rangers have averaged more than 91 wins over the last five seasons.
“He stands for what we want to be about,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “Our players work as hard as anybody else, follow him into battle, take on his personality and competitiveness and his positive mindset.”
When asked why it took so long to get the new deal done, Daniels there was never a question about whether Washington would get an extension.
“Wash and I had a couple of conversations about it this winter and we decided, let’s get everything else settled and get the team ready to roll,” Daniels said. “It was a bigger conversation about the team and what we needed to accomplish.”
Texas won 91 games last season, but missed the playoffs for the first time in four years after losing the AL wild-card tiebreaker game at home to Tampa Bay.
The Rangers had last extended Washington’s contract in January 2012, when two years were added through 2014. Only three managers have been with their current teams longer — Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota’s Ron Gardenhire and Tampa Bay’s Joe Maddon.
“I’m very appreciative for the support that the Texas Rangers have given me since I’ve been here,” Washington said. “All I’ve ever wanted to do was just go out there and try to be the best I can for the organization and for my players.”
Washington had been Oakland’s longtime third-base coach and with no major league managerial experience when he got to Texas.
Daniels was only a year into his tenure as GM when he hired Washington after firing Buck Showalter following the 2006 season.
Washington became the first manager in major league history to increase his team’s win total in four consecutive seasons after his initial year with a club.
“At the end of the day, the players take on the personality of the manager, and Wash shows up to work the same guy every day, with a genuine, positive attitude and optimism,” Daniels said “He believes that we’re going to get it done, whether it’s doing a drill the right way or winning the World Series. He believes we’re going to get it done and our players take the field with that belief, in large part because of him.”