It took until the end of the first week of spring training games, but general manager Jon Daniels has his extension. A busy offseason kept the Rangers from getting a deal done sooner, but Daniels is locked up through 2015. That's four more years after this one, which was the final year of his current contract.
Somewhere Tom Hicks is smiling. I know that's not a name Rangers fans talk about much these days. But don't forget that while Hicks made some mistakes, he was the one who took the chance on Daniels when he was 28, making him the youngest GM in Major League history. Hicks made that move before hiring club president Nolan Ryan. Both Ryan and Daniels grew into their roles.
Daniels is the first to admit that he has learned on the job and improved as the years have progressed. He's done a remarkable job of surrounding himself with quality people and he's owned up to mistakes and learned from. After passing up on the Josh Beckett trade and dealing John Danks for Brandon McCarthy, Daniels didn't back away from pulling the trigger on trades just because a few early ones didn't work out.
He traded Edinson Volquez for Josh Hamilton at a time when the Rangers needed pitching. He sold Hicks on a plan to restructure the club's minor league system and pour more resources into scouting and development. He sent Mark Teixeira to Atlanta for a gaggle of prospects, including Neftali Feliz and Elvis Andrus. And he made numerous other deals -- and drafted well -- to stockpile the team with talent and create this winning window.
Daniels was the architect of the club's turnaround and now he'll be in charge of making it last as long as possible. Ryan made sure of that on Friday. His next mission: Get the rest of his staff signed up too.