STEPHEN HAWKINS, AP Sports Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington says he isn’t concerned that his contract hasn’t been extended past the upcoming season.
“I’m not worried about that. What I’m worried about right now is trying to help these young infielders I have here get acclimated,” Washington said Tuesday during a winter camp for young players at Rangers Ballpark. “(The contract) will take care of itself.”
Washington is the team’s winningest manager with 611 victories over his seven seasons. He took Texas to its only two World Series in 2010 and 2011.
Texas last extended his deal in January 2012, when two years were added through 2014.
The Rangers have averaged more than 91 wins over the last five seasons. They won 91 games last season, but missed the playoffs for the first time in four years after losing the AL wild-card tiebreaker game to Tampa Bay.
General manager Jon Daniels said in October, a few days after the season ended, that he felt “as strong” as ever about Washington. The manager was hired after the 2006 season, when Daniels completed his first year as GM by firing manager Buck Showalter.
Asked in October it was a fair assumption Washington would get a contract extension, Daniels replied, “That would be my preference.” He said then he hadn’t yet had an opportunity to speak with ownership about that.
When asked for an update Tuesday on a possible extension, Daniels again provided no specifics while indicating that he expected Washington to remain longer than this season.
“Same as the last 19 times you guys asked me about it. I just don’t like commenting on anybody’s contract status,” Daniels said. “That’s not any sort of commentary on Wash, other than he’s been a huge part of what we’ve done here. It’s been a partnership from Day One, and I expect that to continue going forward.”
Washington had been Oakland’s longtime third-base coach, and had no major league managerial experience when he got to Texas.
He 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. And now the only three active managers have been with their current teams longer than Washington are Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels, Ron Gardenhire in Minnesota and Joe Maddon in Tampa Bay.
Washington’s original contract was a two-year deal with club options for 2009 and 2010 that were both exercised. Only a few days after the 2010 World Series, Washington got a two-year extension through 2012.