Rangers improved 18 games in '04

Updated: January 21, 2005, 1:50 PM ET
Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Buck Showalter, the reigning AL Manager of the Year, received a three-year contract extension from the Texas Rangers on Friday.

Showalter's new contract runs through the 2009 season, and includes a club option for 2010.

Owner Tom Hicks also extended the contract of general manager John Hart through 2006. That contract then becomes renewable annually and continues until terminated by either party, after which time Hart will have a five-year deal to serve as senior adviser to Hicks.

"John and Buck are keys to the continuing success of this franchise and I am pleased we could ensure they will be here in the future," Hicks said. "This organization is on the right track and with John and Buck leading our baseball operations, I know it will continue to prosper."

Hicks, Showalter and Hart were among a group of Rangers officials who were in Puerto Rico on Friday meeting with free-agent slugger Carlos Delgado. The New York Mets, Florida and Baltimore are also pursuing Delgado.

After four straight last-place finishes in the AL West, the Rangers were 89-73 last season in Showalter's second year and remained in contention until the final week. They finished third, but were just three games behind division champion Anaheim and won 18 more games than in 2003.

Showalter is already tied with Pat Corrales for the third-most wins (160) by a manager in club history. Only Bobby Valentine (581) and Johnny Oates (506) have more wins as the Rangers skipper.

Showalter is 723-668 in nine seasons as a major league manager. He previously led the New York Yankees (1992-95) and Arizona Diamondbacks (1998-2000), who both went to the World Series the year after he left.

Hart is entering his fourth season with the Rangers and his 14th consecutive season as a major league general manager, having been in Cleveland for two World Series before joining Texas. Only Atlanta general manager John Schuerholz has a longer active tenure.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press