Best, worst moments of Jon Daniels’ Rangers tenure: World Series, failed trades and more

sportsRangers

Best, worst moments of Jon Daniels’ Rangers tenure: World Series, failed trades and more

It may not have ended well, but here’s to the good baseball times in Texas.

Jon Daniels, Texas Rangers president of team operations and former general manager, is out after nearly two decades with the organization, the team announced on Wednesday.

In Daniels’ tenure, the Rangers reached heights crowds in Arlington had never seen before, such as a pair of World Series runs, as well as the construction of a new stadium.

The Rangers also fell on hard times, as the past six seasons of mediocrity (or worse) have shown.

Jon’s accomplishments in his 17 years running our baseball operations department have been numerous,” said Rangers majority owner Ray Davis in a statement. “Jon has always had the best interests of the Rangers organization in mind on and off the field and in the community.

“But the bottom line is we have not had a winning record since 2016 and for much of that time, have not been competitive in the A.L. West Division. While I am certain we are heading in the right direction, I feel a change in the leadership of the baseball operations department will be beneficial going forward.”

So, as the Daniels era ends in North Texas, let’s take a look back at some of the best and worst moments from his time leading the organization:

Texas Rangers catcher Bengie Molina and pitcher Neftali Feliz celebrate beating the New York...
Texas Rangers catcher Bengie Molina and pitcher Neftali Feliz celebrate beating the New York Yankees during American League Championship Series in game six at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 22, 2010, in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers won 6-1 to advance to the World Series. (LOUIS DeLUCA/Staff Photographer)

Best: World Series runs

It took the Texas Rangers four decades, but they finally reached the World Series for the first time in 2010, and repeated as American League champions in 2011.

Headlined by perennial All-Star Michael Young and manager Ron Washington, the core of the 2010 team was based around many acquisitions the Daniels-led front office made, including Josh Hamilton, Elvis Andrus, Matt Harrison, Cliff Lee, Bengie Molina, Nelson Cruz and Neftali Feliz.

Daniels also brought in fan-favorite Adrian Beltre in between the 2010 and 2011 seasons to help reload the roster for the team’s second World Series run.

While the Rangers were unable to cross the finish line — losing to the San Francisco Giants in five games in 2010 and losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games in 2011 — Daniels helped lead the Rangers to a stage the team had never seen before or since.

Worst: Swing-and-miss trades

While JD helped build the Rangers into contenders, failed returns in multiple meaningful trades of recent years have aided the steady decline of the organization.

The Rangers failed to get any substantial returns for top-line starters such as Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels, while also shipping out young (and eventually very productive) players such as Chris Davis, Tommy Hunter, Kyle Hendricks and Carl Edwards Jr.

Read more on some of Daniels’ worst trades here...

The retractable roof of Globe Life Field was open for the first time during a regular season...
The retractable roof of Globe Life Field was open for the first time during a regular season game as the team faced the Seattle Mariners in Arlington, Monday, August 10, 2020. (Tom Fox / Staff Photographer)

Best: New stadium

While still a hot-topic issue for many, there’s no denying what moving into a new building means for the overall value of a sports franchise.

The Rangers moved across the street from Globe Life Park to Globe Life Field ahead of the 2020 season. And while that season as a whole was derailed for a time due to the coronavirus pandemic, the presence of Globe Life Field offered North Texas the opportunity to host a World Series — albeit between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays.

Worst: Post-World Series mediocrity

The Rangers have not won a postseason series since the 2011 ALCS against the Detroit Tigers.

In fact, the Rangers haven’t had a winning season since 2016.

In 2021, the Rangers lost more than 100 games for the first time since 1973.

Combine those factors with the lackluster trades listed above, as well as the underachieving managerial runs of Jeff Banister and Chris Woodward, and it’s not a shocking conclusion that the Rangers finally decided to go in another direction with Daniels.

Chris Young, Rangers executive vice president and general manager, — who oddly enough was a part of an early Daniels trade during his stint as GM which sent the former pitcher from Texas to San Diego — will assume oversight of all aspects of baseball operations in Texas.

Young was hired in December 2020 to work with Daniels and has been involved in all areas of the department since that time.

And for now, he will go it alone.

+++

Related Stories
The latest on Jon Daniels...
View More

Find more Rangers coverage from The Dallas Morning News here.

Click or tap here to sign up for our Rangers newsletter.

The Dirt

Be the smartest Rangers fan

Get the latest news, analysis and opinion delivered straight to your inbox.

By signing up you agree to our privacy policy