SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Jeff Banister’s contract to manage the Texas Rangers has been guaranteed through 2018 after his division-winning debut.
Banister was voted AL Manager of the Year in his first season running a big league dugout, when he led Rangers to an 88-74 record and the AL West title last year.
“Through the team’s early season struggles, he was able to keep everyone focused, and that led to a memorable finish,” general manager Jon Daniels said.
When Banister was hired in October 2014, he got a three-year deal with a team option for 2018. The Rangers on Friday guaranteed the 2018 season, added a team option for 2019 and gave him a raise.
“It’s a reflection on the body of work after one year and our strong feelings for Jeff and his leadership,” Daniels said. “It has been a tremendous partnership early on.”
Banister took over with the Rangers coming off a 95-loss season in 2014. The team then lost ace right-hander Yu Darvish because of Tommy John surgery last spring, and lefty Derek Holland missed four months because of a shoulder injury after throwing only one inning in the home opener.
The Rangers were 8-16 and already 9 1/2 games out of the division lead a month into the season. But they overcame it all to win the AL West before losing to Toronto in a five-game AL Division Series.
“It may be recognition for where we have gotten in a short period of time,” Banister said. “But we have a lot more to do.”
Banister was in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ organization for 29 years before the Rangers hired him.
Texas has never won the World Series.
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