The Texas Rangers have hired Dodgers third-base coach Chris Woodward as manager, the club said on Saturday.
A major league infielder for 12 seasons, the 42-year-old Woodward began his coaching career with the Seattle Mariners, starting as their minor league infield coordinator before becoming their infield coach. He then joined the Dodgers’ coaching staff for the 2016 season. In addition to his third-base coaching duties, Woodward was also the team’s infield coach.
Woodward’s departure could be the only change to the Dodgers’ coaching staff.
On Thursday afternoon, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi strongly hinted that manager Dave Roberts will return for next season. The team has until Wednesday night to exercise a $1.1-million option in Roberts’ contract, but signs point to the two sides agreeing to a contract beyond 2019 and eliminating his lame-duck status in the coming days after resolving Clayton Kershaw’s contract situation on Friday.
As for the rest of the staff, Zaidi said Thursday that the front office wanted its entire coaching staff to return next season. He hoped it would be finalized “over the next week or two.” But Woodward interviewed for the Rangers’ vacancy this week and quickly emerged as the front-runner for the job. Now he’s headed to Texas to manage for the first time and the Dodgers are in search of a new third-base coach.