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January 25, 2014

Rangers notes on Ron Washington, Yu Darvish from Fan Fest

Rangers fans were asking the right questions Saturday morning at Fan Fest, putting general manager Jon Daniels and manager Ron Washington on the spot for answers reguarding the 2014 team and beyond.

Daniels was first in the hot seat, when a fan asked about Washington's contract status. Washington has only this season remaining on his deal, though he has been told that an extension will get done. Daniels tried to wiggle free, saying that he prefers to not talk about anyone's contract, but didn't completely dodge the question.

"I love Wash," Daniels said. "It's been a partnership all the way through. We communicate all the time. Wash is our manager. Period. He's our guy."

Washington faced a bevy of questions, but the newsiest regarded the Rangers' Opening Day starter. Barring injury, it'll be Yu Darvish.

"It's obvious," Washington said.

Darvish will be the Rangers' sixth different Opening Day starter in the past six seasons, a string that started with Kevin Millwood in 2009. He was followed by Scott Feldman, C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis and Matt Harrison.

The toughest question Washington faced was his last, from a young boy who sadly asked, "Why did you trade Ian Kinsler for Prince Fielder?" Washington tried to soften blow, explaining that it's rare in the game when you get a chance to acquire a talent like Fielder.

Daniels met with reporters after his session, and said that he expects free agency to pick up again heading to spring training. The Rangers are looking for rotation depth, and not just extra guys to be at Triple A.

"I mean guys who can help our big-league club," Daniels said. "We would have been looking for that this time of year anyway before Derek [Holland].

"I think we're coming out of the dead period. There's still a lot of free agents out there, probably more than we're used to. Maybe this is the new normal."

-- Jeff Wilson



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