GM Chris Young explains how the Texas Rangers became World Series contenders

Chris Young, Texas Rangers vice president and general manager. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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Don’t try to give Texas Rangers general manager Chris Young credit for the franchise’s historic postseason run to the World Series.

He doesn’t want it. And he’s quick to shift the credit to others.

“It will always be about the collective group, and I’m just one small part,” Young said prior to opening game of the World Series at Globe Life Field on Friday.

After a 13-year playing career that started with the Rangers and included winning a World Series ring with the Kansas City Royals in 2015, the Rangers hired Young as their general manager in 2020.

When Young took the reins, the Rangers had just finished their fourth straight losing season. After two more losing seasons, the Rangers completed a dramatic turnaround and are in a World Series.

It was Young’s first two seasons that paved the way for this year’s special postseason run.

Within a week of Young’s tenure, the Rangers acquired Nathaniel Lowe and Dane Dunning.

Dunning has been one of the Rangers’ most versatile pitchers this season moving from starter to a relief role back to a starter as needed while putting up career highs in wins (12), ERA (3.70) and innings pitched (172.2). Lowe won a Silver Slugger in 2022 and is a Golden Glove finalist this season at first base.

In 2021 Jonah Heim, Marcus Semien and Corey Seager were added to the team. Each player was selected as an all-star and Golden Glove finalist this season and both Seager and Semien are MVP candidates.

However, Young pointed out that much of the groundwork was also laid before his tenure.

“It’s a collective,” said Young, “It may not have shown record-wise, but there was a foundation built by [former President of Baseball Operations] Jon Daniels, commitment from ownership with Ray Davis and many others within the org.”

Daniels drafted outfielder Evan Carter, third baseman Josh Jung and traded for American League Championship MVP Adolis Garcia who have been crucial to this year’s team.

Ownership approved massive spending that resulted in the Rangers spending half a billion dollars on contracts for Seager and Semien and handing out a massive $185 million contract to Jacob deGrom.

Despite all the big-money acquisitions, Young said it did not affect the pressure to win.

Late in the 2022 season, Davis fired Daniels and promoted Young.

“The pressure is there regardless of how we do it. We expect to win. That’s something I’ve felt my whole career,” said Young.

This season the Rangers have withstood the pressure, injuries and anything else this season threw at them and Young said that’s what stood out about this team the most.

“I think the word that comes to mind is resilience, just the way this club has handled adversity all season,” said Young.

As the team has fought through adversity another Young hire, manager Bruce Bochy, has been essential. Young spoke about Bochy’s reaction to a question at his introductory press conference and its impact on the team.

“I remember Boch pounding the table and saying, ‘Don’t tell me that we can’t be competitive, that we can’t win,’ ” said Young. ”I saw our players’ faces standing off to the side of the podium, I remember their expressions.”