ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Chris Young said he knew when joining the Texas Rangers as general manager in 2020 that his partnership with president of baseball operations Jon Daniels might not go beyond this year.
The departure of Daniels was no less emotional for Young, or jarring considering it came just two days after they sat next to each other in a news conference explaining their decision to fire manager Chris Woodward.
With the off-field shakeup of the Rangers apparently complete, Young is left with the task of finding a new manager and charting the direction of the roster with Texas on pace for a sixth consecutive losing season.
“It’s just been kind of recollecting our thoughts, recentering our focus as a group, honoring (Daniels), appropriately celebrating him,” Young said, “but also getting our ducks in a row in terms of the next steps and what we need to finish out this week, this month, this season and prepare to best position ourselves going into this offseason.”
From the time he was hired 20 months ago, Young knew Daniels' contract was up after this season. He refused to question the timing of owner Ray Davis' decision not to renew the contract and part ways with Daniels now.
Young also seemed unconcerned that he wasn't aware of Davis' plan with Daniels until the day the decision was announced.
“It's not my decision. It's for Ray to decide,” Young said. “He had to do what he felt was best for our organization. He's been unbelievably supportive. (Daniels) would say the same. (Daniels) has been nothing but glowing in how he feels about Ray.”
Young knows because he had contact with Daniels several times in the 24 hours after Daniels was let go, including a text with a photo of Daniels in a Rangers visor on his morning run Thursday.
Asked how Daniels was doing, Young cut his answer short in an apparent effort to keep his emotions in check.
“He’s been a tremendous partner, a mentor,” Young said. “There’s been a lot of emotions, tears, a lot. I love him. And that was he was a big part of why I came here. That said, I knew that this moment may come.”
The 6-foot-10 Young is a Dallas native who played played baseball and basketball at Princeton. He pitched in 13 major league seasons with five teams. His big league debut was with the Rangers in 2004, and he won a World Series title with Kansas City in 2015.
Young's search for a manager will include Tony Beasley, Woodward's interim replacement. Beasley was Young's second manager as a pro in the minor leagues, and is the longest-tenured member of the Texas coaching staff in his eighth season.
Now Young knows he won't be sharing that search with Daniels, who had been with the Rangers since 2002 and oversaw a seven-year stretch (2010-16) that included four AL West titles.
“I would say (Daniels) and I divided and conquered, but he exposed me to everything,” Young said. “Negotiated contracts, I’ve made trades, I’ve handled the draft, free agency. I’ve seen the whole cycle two times through now. I'm humble enough to know this is an immense job.”
The task is a bit taller with what is now the longest stretch of losing seasons since the franchise moved to Texas 50 years ago. Young says it's too early to say whether he'll split some of those duties the way Daniels shared them with him.
“That partnership extended beyond just me and (Daniels),” Young said. “We have a tremendous team, we’ve got great people, we’re doing great things and we have a vision and we’re going to continue that vision. So it doesn’t change in terms of losing (Daniels) as one of our partners. It’s an opportunity for all of us to step up and continue to progress and improve.”