Texas Rangers

Even if he isn’t picked as new manager, Wakamatsu likely to return to Rangers in 2019

Don Wakamatsu has a contract for 2019 and expects to fulfill it regardless of what happens with the Rangers’ managerial search.
Don Wakamatsu has a contract for 2019 and expects to fulfill it regardless of what happens with the Rangers’ managerial search. The Associated Press

Don Wakamatsu will be interviewed at some point in the near future to be the Texas Rangers’ next full-time manager after finishing out the season as the interim manager following the firing of Jeff Banister on Sept. 21.

To listen to him speak to the media each day, it sounds like he intends to be with the club in 2019. Well, there’s a reason: He’s under contract to the bench coach, and he’s planning to return.

“Yes,” Wakamatsu said. “I’m under contract, and I expected to be here. There are decisions that have to be made, but I’d like to be considered a part of that. For me, it’s finishing out the season strong and keeping these guys motivated to do that.”

General manager Jon Daniels said again on Friday that Wakamatsu is a candidate, but didn’t disclose if any other coaches in the organization will be interviewed. Daniels interviewed then-pitching coach Mike Maddux and then-bench coach Steve Buechele in 2014 as part of the search to replace Ron Washington.

The Rangers are further down the road in the process, though not much further, than they were Tuesday, when Daniels spoke to the media in Anaheim. They are still doing their due diligence and trying to lock in on candidates who fit what the Rangers are seeking.

“We are collecting information right now,” Daniels said. “We haven’t spoken to any candidates. We are putting together a job description and the attributes that are important to us.”

The fate of the rest of the coaching staff will be determined shortly after the season. Daniels said that’s all he has told the coaches. If some aren’t retained, he wants to give any who are an opportunity to find work elsewhere if they aren’t comfortable waiting for the new manager to be hired.

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