Jeff Banister's 2018 Contract Option Exercised by Rangers: Details, Reaction

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 19, 2016

Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister answers a question in Arlington, Texas, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
LM Otero/Associated Press

After a successful debut season with the Texas Rangers in 2015, manager Jeff Banister was rewarded Friday in the form of an exercised contract option for 2018.

According to Rangers Executive Vice President of Communications John Blake, the 52-year-old former Pittsburgh Pirates bench coach was also given a team option for 2019.

The 2015 campaign was Banister's first as a major league manager, and he didn't disappoint, as he led the Rangers to the playoffs with a record of 88-74, won the American League West crown and took AL Manager of the Year honors.

After finishing last in the AL West in 2014 with a record of just 67-95, the Rangers pushed a loaded Toronto Blue Jays team to a decisive fifth game in the American League Division Series.

While it was a great bounce-back for an organization that reached the World Series in both 2010 and 2011, Banister stressed the importance of staying hungry, per Pat Doney of "We challenged our guys after the last game last year. Don't become complacent. And that's a challenge when everyone goes their own way because everyone becomes their own individual."

The Rangers look to have a similar roster in 2016 as they did last season, plus ace starting pitcher Yu Darvish figures to return at some point during the campaign from Tommy John surgery.

Banister helped Texas exceed expectations in a big way in 2015, and there is little doubt he deserved a vote of confidence.

With the Houston Astros on the ascent and the Los Angeles Angels boasting a talented team, however, remaining at the top of the AL West in 2016 and beyond will be huge challenge for Banister and Co.


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