The Texas Rangers have been fairly lucky this offseason when it comes to holding onto some of their prized possessions. However, their luck may be starting to change as the Houston Astros announced the firing of general manager Ed Wade and team president Tal Smith. The Rangers were able to hold onto Mike Maddux as their pitching coach, even though he was one of the top candidates for the Red Sox and Cubs managerial positions and at one time seemed destined to be the next manager of the Chicago Cubs. They have also been lucky to hold onto assistant general manager Thad Levine and senior director of player personnel A.J. Preller during an offseason filled with general manager positions.
The Rangers have become known as one of the best organizations in baseball over recent years and specifically when it comes to their front office and specifically player development. Jon Daniels has been at the front of everything that has taken place, but no organization could enjoy this much success based on the work of one man. For years now, Thad Levine and A.J. Preller have been expected to make the jump to the general manager's chair and it has been very surprising this offseason that neither of them have even been interviewed to this point. That may be changing with the Astros position now available and Astros CEO George Postolos stating that their next general manager must have "a strong commitment to player development."
Not only are the Astros under new ownership and will have a new general manager, but they will also be heading to the American League West in 2013. Not only would Levine or Preller have a solid background in player development, but they would also have been successful in the very same division that the Astros are heading into. It would seem that Levine would be a logical fit in Houston, but with the desire to invest in player development, it would not be out of the question for them to consider Preller for the position. Should Levine take the job in Houston, it would seem like Preller would be the most likely candidate to move into the assistant general manager's position for the Rangers.
While it would be tough for the Rangers to lose Levine or Preller, the Rangers have built depth throughout their organization on all fronts and they are as prepared as any team to lose someone as talented as Levine or Preller. The Rangers also cannot expect to hang onto all of these great minds forever. Even if they do not lose anyone this year, it will come sometime down the line.
John Bowman is a lifelong baseball and Texas Rangers fan that loves to ponder the deeper aspects of the game. Some of his first baseball memories involve Arlington Stadium nachos, Charlie Hough's knuckeball, dirt on Pete Incaviglia's uniform and the voices of Mark Holtz and Eric Nadel as he fell asleep. Follow him on Twitter @TexasWinColumn.
- Houston Astros
- Thad Levine