<
>

GM has Ron Washington's back

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Thursday it's his preference that manager Ron Washington's contract be extended past the 2014 season.

Washington, who has managed the Rangers to four consecutive 90-plus win seasons and two World Series appearances, is signed only through next season.

"We literally haven't talked about it," Daniels said at an end-of-the-season news conference. "I haven't talked to Wash about it. We haven't talked internally about it."

Daniels is supportive of Washington and said any talks about a change have been rumor-driven and didn't come from the Rangers. After going to the World Series in 2010 and 2011, Texas lost in the wild-card game to Baltimore last season and then in Game 163 this season, a wild-card tiebreaker against Tampa Bay.

Daniels also said the Rangers expect to make a qualifying offer to free-agent outfielder Nelson Cruz, who was suspended for the final 50 games of the regular season for violating Major League Baseball's drug prevention and treatment program. The Rangers weren't as clear about the likelihood of re-signing free-agent closer Joe Nathan, possibly because Tanner Scheppers and Joakim Soria are under club control for next season.