Texas manager Chris Woodward gets extension to 2023

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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ARLINGTON, Texas- Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward got a contract extension that goes through the 2023 season and includes a club option for another year after that.

The Rangers before last season had exercised their club option for 2022. Woodward originally got a three-year contract with that option when he became the manager after the 2018 season.

While Woodward is 160-224 overall with the Rangers, with 102 losses last season, the team has been in a rebuilding mode and that included the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

“After seeing Woody’s passion and consistency first-hand over the last year, extending our partnership is an easy decision,” said Chris Young, who took over as general manager about a year ago. “I look forward to continuing our shared commitment to improving the club.”

Jon Daniels, the team’s president of baseball operations, said Woodward has helped lay the foundation for the Rangers.

The 45-year-old Woodward is a former MLB infielder who spent parts of 12 seasons with Toronto, the New York Mets, Atlanta, Seattle and Boston. He was on the big league staffs in Seattle (2013-15) and the Dodgers (2016-18), the last two years there as third base coach when Los Angeles made back-to-back World Series appearances.

Phillies, RHP Taijuan Walker reportedly agree to 4-year deal

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO – The active Philadelphia Phillies added Taijuan Walker to their rotation on Tuesday, agreeing to a $72 million, four-year contract with the right-hander.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the move to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

It was the second major free-agent score for the Phillies at the winter meetings after they reeled in shortstop Trea Turner on Monday with a $300 million, 11-year deal. Walker and Turner join a Phillies team that made it to the World Series this year before losing to the Houston Astros.

The 30-year-old Walker went 12-5 with a 3.49 ERA in 29 starts this season for the New York Mets, one of Philadelphia’s biggest NL East rivals. He slots into a rotation fronted by Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola.

The Phillies recently lost pitcher Zach Eflin in free agency to Tampa Bay.

Asked about the market for Walker earlier in the day, agent Scott Boras said it was robust.

“As you can see in the marketplace, there’s a whole number of pitchers that are throwing 60 and 70 innings that have been pursued, probably with the exception of (Jacob) deGrom, at the lower end of threshold around $13-15 million a year because the demand for quality pitching is so great,” Boras said.

“So, Tai … is one of the younger ones, one of the more durable ones and we expect him to be pursued greatly as his market unfolds.”

Walker was selected by Seattle with the No. 43 pick in the 2010 amateur draft. He made his big league debut with the Mariners in 2013.

Walker signed with New York as a free agent in February 2021. He turned down a $7.5 million player option last month in favor of a $3 million buyout, making his deal worth $17 million over two seasons.

The 6-foot-4 Walker made the All-Star team for the first time in 2021, putting together a fast start before fading to a 7-11 record with a 4.47 ERA in 30 games, 29 starts.