For the first time in a long time, general manager Jon Daniels has added an outsider into the Texas Rangers’ front office.
The last time came in 2011 when Tim Purpura was hired as farm director. That move was at the behest of then-team president Nolan Ryan, and Purpura never made it into the Daniels inner circle.
So, the hiring of Shiraz Rehman last week wasn’t just an ordinary move, even though Rehman’s duties won’t be anything too out-of-the-ordinary. He will help with contract negotiations and player acquisition, along the same lines as what Thad Levine did before leaving to become the Minnesota Twins’ GM two off-seasons ago.
Rehman will also have a say in research and development after having his hands in that with the Chicago Cubs before departing for Arlington.
He will provide a different perspective to a tight-knit group that perhaps has needed one in the past.
Then again, Rehman isn’t exactly a stranger. He has known Daniels for nearly 14 years and may or may not have offered, but probably did, to work for the Rangers for free upon their first meeting in 2005 at spring training.
“I was just trying to get into the game, and I was coming out of grad school and had literally zero network,” Rehman said. “On a whim, I rented a car and drove out here. I think I snuck my way past security, you know, acting like I knew what I was doing, and I found him walking around outside right here. I gave him my five-second spiel, and he was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, come for a walk with me.’
“He shared 30 minutes on what it’s like to break into the game. I think at some point I did offer to work for free, and he turned me down. I think maybe his regret over his ill-fated decision is what led to this today.”
Daniels was an assistant GM at the time, eight months from getting his shot at the GM job after the 2005 season. He still remembers the conversation, and it seems, does have some regret.
“I’ve known him for, I don’t know, 10 or 12 years,” Daniels said. “I remember very well, and he likes to remind me, that he approached me in spring training around the back fields and offered to work for free. As smart as I was we didn’t have a spot for him.”
Daniels continued by praising Rehman for how smart he is and how good he is at his job. Rehman, a Montreal native who was raised in New York, interned at the Boston Red Sox and worked for the Arizona Diamondbacks before moving to the Cubs.
Rehman said that he has gotten to know his fellow assistant GMs, Mike Daly and Josh Boyd, the past few years and bounced ideas of them while with the Cubs. The pro scouting meetings have given Rehman a chance to meet others in the baseball operations and to start building working relationships.
“That’s been priority No. 1 coming in,” Rehman said. “It’s an invaluable opportunity to get know each of them personally and how they talk about players. I’m going to try to help the best I can.”