This hasn’t been an ordinary week of pro-scouting meetings for the Texas Rangers.
It’s also been the continuation of their managerial search.
General manager Jon Daniels confirmed that multiple candidates have interviewed this week at the Surprise Recreation Campus, and former Oakland A’s third baseman Eric Chavez is among them.
Another possibility is Stubby Clapp, the St. Louis Cardinals manager who is also managing the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League. The Saguaros are using the Rangers’ facilities this fall.
The Rangers were also expecting to interview Houston Astros bench coach Joe Espada face to face after speaking to him via phone before the American League Championship Series.
Daniels wouldn’t confirm any names or how many candidates have interviewed, and he also didn’t say which candidates have been interviewed for a second time. Those interviews have taken place, though.
While the pace appears to be picking up, Daniels said that the Rangers won’t have a manager in place this week.
“Continue to work on it,” Daniels said before rushing off to another appointment. “I don’t expect to hire somebody before we leave here. I expect it to go into next week. The number I care about is one. We want to hire the right guy. It may be one that we have already spoken to, but we make sure we hire the right guy.”
Chavez spent 2018 as a special assistant for the Los Angeles Angels but finished the season as their Triple A manager. Chavez played 17 seasons, winning six Gold Gloves under the tutelage of former Rangers manager Ron Washington.
The 40-year-old was a candidate to replace Mike Scioscia as Angels manager, but they hired Brad Ausmus on Sunday instead.
Sources have confirmed the Rangers’ interest in Clapp, the former Texas Tech star. He has been interviewed multiple times via phone.
Daniels did discuss experience as a factor in the next manager, and he is open to giving the job to an inexperienced candidate and allowing him to grow into the job just as the Rangers are trying to find players to help them grow into a winning team.
They are also trying to put other personnel in place and some new approaches to research, development and technologies in place.
The manager is part of the Rangers’ overall off-season plan.
“One of the managerial candidates asked us what the short-term and long-term goals of the Rangers are other than winning games,” Daniels said. “The short-term goal is getting the right people in place and making sure we are aligned from top to bottom with everything we do. That’s a huge focus as far as this off-season, getting the right people in place, both on the field and in the front office and making sure everything is aligned the way we want it to be.”
Beyond Chavez, Espada and possibly Clapp, others who have interviewed formally and are still under consideration include Rangers interim manager Don Wakamatsu, Rangers executive/coach Jayce Tingler, Chicago Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde, Philadelphia Phillies third-base coach Dusty Wathan and Tampa Bay Rays field coordinator Rocco Baldelli.
“We may expand it further,” Daniels said.