ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers are sticking with manager Ron Washington, at least through 2010.
"This was an easy decision," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said in a statement Monday announcing the team exercised its contract option to keep him for next season. "We're excited about the direction the club is going under Ron's leadership and we look forward to a long, productive relationship with him as our manager."
The Rangers led the AL West and were tied with the New York Yankees for the best record in the American League heading into Monday's games. The Rangers have led their division for 33 days, their longest stretch since 1999.
Washington said he hadn't been concerned about his contract.
"If things get taken care of on the field, contracts take care of themselves," he said. "The players have a lot to do with this. I thank them for their effort."
All-Star shortstop Michael Young said Washington deserved credit.
"We've been playing well this year, and a lot of that has to do with him," he said. "He's a players' manager. You want people who are honest around you, and Wash is that guy. He tells you what's on his mind. His office is always open. It's a two-way street."
Team president Nolan Ryan said, "We don't have a lot of problems in the clubhouse because of Ron. They put whatever problems they have aside and go out and play."
Washington, in his third season with the team, is 187-193 with Texas and is the fourth-longest tenured manager in Rangers history. He was hired in 2006 with a two-year contract with team options for 2009 and 2010.
"The communications part of it got better," Washington said. "Part of it was giving the clubhouse over to the players to keep them clear to go out and do their job. Whatever problem they've had, they haven't brought it into the clubhouse. That's what successful organizations do."