The Texas Rangers hired Bruce Bochy as manager, bringing the three-time World Series champion with 2,003 career wins out of a short retirement to take over a team that had six straight losing seasons.
Texas made the startling announcement on Friday, just over two weeks after its season ended. Bochy agreed to a three-year contract.
Bochy, 67, hasn’t been successful since 2019, when he retired after 13 seasons and those World Series titles with the San Francisco Giants. The first championship came in five games against Texas in 2010, and the Giants won again in 2012 and 2014.
Rangers general manager Chris Young was a pitcher for San Diego in 2006, which was Bochy’s final season with the Padres before moving to San Francisco.
“During the interview process, Bruce’s passion and enthusiasm for returning to the shelter was very evident,” Young said. “It became clear that he was the perfect person to lead our club as we continue to build a championship culture here in Arlington.”
Bochy was 951-975 in 12 seasons with the Padres (1995-2006) and took them to the last World Series in 1998. The former big league catcher had a 1,052-1,054 record in San Francisco in 2007 at 19.
Rangers have announced they will hold an introductory press conference on Monday. Bochy said in a statement that he was thrilled to join the team after several days of in-depth conversations with Young and a meeting with owner Ray Davis.
“Their vision and commitment to creating a club that can fight and win year after year is impressive, and I became convinced that I wanted to be a part of it,” Bochy said. “If I was going to go back to management, it had to be the right situation. I firmly believe that’s the case with Rangers, and I can’t wait to get started.
The Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals and Miami Marlins have the three remaining manager openings among the 30 teams.
Fourth-year Rangers manager Chris Woodward was fired Aug. 15, two days before president of baseball operations Jon Daniels was also fired. Texas then finished 68-94, eight more wins than in 2021, but what Young said after the season “was about half of our internal expectations.” They lost 35 games in one inning, a franchise record.
Texas was 17-31 under interim manager Tony Beasley, the longtime Rangers third baseman coach who once served as Young’s minor league manager. Several young players have had extended looks during this period, and the general manager said in August that Beasley would not be judged on win-loss record alone. Beasley was interviewed for the job two days after the season ended.
When speaking after the season, Young declined to comment when specifically asked if the search for direction could continue without knowing if Bochy was interested in the job. But then he acknowledged how much he loved playing for Bochy and expressed his respect for the man he considers one of the most successful and respected managers in the major leagues.
“With a calm and steady presence, he has a remarkable ability to connect and communicate with players, coaches and staff, and his teams have always played with maximum effort,” Young said on Friday. “His knowledge of the game, as well as his integrity are unmatched.”
Texas last offseason committed half a billion dollars to free agent shortstop Corey Seager ($325 million, 10) and second baseman Marcus Semien ($175 million, seven), and also signed right-hander Jon Gray ($56 million, four years). ) to be their No. 1 starter. Southpaw Martin Perez was an All-Star after returning to a one-year contract before spring training.
While there was never any expectation that Rangers would go from 102 losses in 2021 immediately to a title contender after this big spending spree, they have never had a winning record at any time this season and peaked at 24-24 in late May. The six consecutive losing seasons are the most in the half-century since the franchise moved to Texas in 1972.
Davis indicated the team is ready to add to its starting rotation and potentially sign a mid-line bat.
“I don’t plan on spending as much money as we did last offseason,” he said. “But we plan to spend some money.”
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