The Texas Rangers have fired manager Jeff Banister following a second consecutive non-playoff and losing season, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
Rangers make it official: Jeff Banister dismissed as manager; Wakamatsu to be interim manager— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) September 21, 2018
For the final week of the regular season, Banister will be replaced by Don Wakamatsu, who has been serving as the team's bench coach. Banister leaves Texas with a 325-313 record, winning AL Manager of the Year in 2015 after leading the Rangers to 88 wins and the AL West Division title.
Banister also guided Texas to the top record in the AL in 2016 with a 95-67 finish. But in both ALDS trips, the Rangers were eliminated by the Toronto Blue Jays. As Texas transitions towards a retooling stage, the front office decided it was necessary make a managerial change following another dismal season.
The Rangers finished 2017 with a porous 78-84 record, and they're about to finish up 2018 as the worst team in the AL West. With Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels being traded in 2017 and 2018 respectively, the Rangers are changing up the direction of the franchise.
Texas was among the top teams in the American League for six years, winning four division titles between 2010-16. That included trips to the 2010 and 2011 World Series, and a berth in the 2012 AL Wild Card Game. But the division rival Houston Astros have emerged as the new top team in the AL West, and the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics look ready to contend for years to come.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels will have plenty of options to choose from, should he decide not to give Wakamatsu to the full-time gig. Dusty Baker, John Farrell, John Gibbons (expected to be let go after 2018), and Mike Matheny are among the many experienced managers who may be considered.