By this time in October 2014, the Texas Rangers had announced their list of candidates to replace Ron Washington as manager on a full-time basis and had already conducted most of their eight interviews.
They started reaching out to potential candidates last week but on Tuesday still hadn’t settled on their list of candidates, according to a source. The Rangers are one of MLB six teams searching for a manager.
They needed 18 days after the 2014 season to hire Banister, though they had nearly a month to prepare for a new hire after Washington’s unexpected resignation with 22 games remaining.
The Rangers are nine days into the off-season and seemingly would want the new manager in place before they head to Arizona for their annual pro scouting meetings Oct. 22-25.
General manager Jon Daniels said last week that there is no prototype for the next manager or a timeline to have him hired.
“We’re looking for someone who will help us create an environment where people thrive in what they do,” Daniels said. “This job is managing people, personalities, egos, developing relationships to where you can get through to them on a variety of different levels.
“Some of the questions that you folks have raised a little bit are, ‘Are you looking for somebody older? Somebody younger? More analytically driven? More traditional development-driven? I don’t think there is a cut-and-dry answer to that.”
Veterans Elvis Andrus and Shin-Soo Choo said late in the season that they would have no complaints if Wakamatsu were promoted from the interim post. Players also endorsed the idea of a recently retired player becoming manager because he would have a firm grasp on what players are thinking and go through.
Former Rangers great Michael Young would be the No. 1 choice for the job, but he doesn’t want it. A special assistant to Daniels, Young is happy with his role and enjoys the free time it affords him to spend with his wife and three sons.
Wakamatsu is in his second stint with the Rangers and was believed to be the front-runner to replace Buck Showalter after the 2016 season before Washington was hired. Wakamatsu, who was hired last off-season as bench coach, is under contract for 2019 and wants to return even if he isn’t hired as manager.
Wakamatsu, 55, was the Seattle Mariners’ manager in 2009 before being fired midway through the 2010 season. The Rangers went 3-7 under Wakamatsu after Banister was fired.