Maddux, Magadan will return to Rangers' staff

Ortiz set to serve as first-base coach for new manager Banister

Maddux, Magadan will return to Rangers' staff

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers officially announced that pitching coach Mike Maddux has agreed to a new contract and hitting coach Dave Magadan is returning for the final season of his three-year deal.

"It was apparent pretty quickly with both men that we believe in a lot of the same things," manager Jeff Banister said. "They are the kind of guys that I can grow with and they can grow with me in an effort to strengthen the Texas Rangers ballclub into a championship-caliber ballclub."

The Rangers also announced on Friday that three from their Minor League system are being promoted to the Major League coaching staff. Triple-A Round Rock manager Steve Buechele has been promoted to bench coach and Hector Ortiz is joining the staff as the first-base coach. Ortiz will also handle the catching instruction at the Major League level.

The Rangers also announced the appointment of Jayce Tingler to the newly created position of Major League field coordinator. He has spent eight seasons in the organization, including the last three as Minor League field coordinator.

Tingler will be on the bench in uniform during the games as an "extra set of eyes" as someone who has worked with the Rangers' young players for many years. He will also handle the outfield and the baserunning instruction.

"I'm just excited to be a part of that staff," Tingler said.

Bullpen coach Andy Hawkins is also returning for a seventh season. He and Maddux have been working closely since they took their current positions going into the 2009 season. Bobby Jones will return for his second season as assistant hitting coach under Magadan.

The Rangers are still without a third-base coach. Gary Pettis served in that position last season, but he left the organization to join the Astros' coaching staff. Pettis also was in charge of outfield and baserunning instruction. Banister said he is looking for an experienced third-base coach who can handle the pressure of the position.

Maddux is entering his seventh season as pitching coach. The Rangers, with an injury-riddled pitching staff, were next to last in the American League with a 4.49 ERA although it improved to 3.86 in the second half. In Maddux's first five seasons, they had a combined ERA of 3.94 that was third best in that stretch in the AL.

"As Aerosmith would say, I'm back in the saddle again and looking forward to riding shotgun with Jeff Banister and the staff," Maddux said. "It was a waiting game. It impacted a lot of us, but it's a good ending."

Magadan is back for his third season as hitting coach. Like Maddux, he was dealing with a lineup hit hard by injuries and the Rangers were 10th in the league in runs scored. They were seventh in 2013. Magadan had interviews earlier this month with the Yankees and the Athletics, but he returned to the Rangers after multiple conversations with Banister.

"Once those two connected, I wasn't worried about losing him," general manager Jon Daniels said.

Buechele, who played 11 seasons in the Major Leagues with the Rangers, Pirates and Cubs, spent the past five seasons managing in the Rangers' farm system. He began at Class A Bakersfield in 2009 and spent three seasons at Double-A Frisco before being moved up to Round Rock last season. He has an overall Minor League record of 446-397 with four playoff appearances.

"I'm really excited about it," Buechele said. "I think, just like the players in the Minor Leagues, they want to make it to the big leagues. I've done it as a player and since I came back as a manager, my goal was to be on the big league staff."

Buechele will fill multiple duties, but mainly he will serve as Banister's right-hand man on the bench during the games as Art Howe, Jackie Moore and Tim Bogar did for former manager Ron Washington.

"There are a lot of ways to answer that question, but mainly just to be a part of the team and a part of the staff ... be there with Jeff," Buechele said. "Be an extension of Jeff and provide him with anything he needs, that will be my job."

Ortiz will be entering his 10th season in the organization. He has spent the past three seasons as the Minor League catching coordinator while serving previously as a manager and hitting coach. He spent parts of four seasons in the Major Leagues as a catcher for the Royals and the Rangers.

Lewis to test market

The Rangers were unable to reach a quick agreement with free-agent pitcher Colby Lewis. Instead, the club expects Lewis to test the market this winter. He can start talking money with other teams as early as Tuesday.

"That doesn't mean we won't revisit it down the line," Daniels said. "We have a ton of respect for Colby. The door is open."

In other player news:

• The Rangers have officially declined the option on outfielder Alex Rios, making him a free agent. He joins Lewis and pitchers Neal Cotts and Scott Baker as free agents who come off the 40-man roster.

Nate Adcock and Alfredo Figaro, along with infielder Ed Lucas, were taken off the roster. Figaro and Lucas have been outrighted to Triple-A Round Rock. Adcock refused his assignment and opted for free agency.

Alexi Ogando, who missed the final three months of the season with an elbow injury, is throwing bullpen sessions in the Dominican Republic.

Tanner Scheppers, who also missed over half the season with elbow issues, was throwing bullpen sessions, but he has been shut down for the next couple months as planned. He will resume his normal offseason throwing program in January.

Yu Darvish is expected to return to Texas in mid-November to get an MRI. He missed the final seven weeks of the season with mild inflammation in his right elbow, but the Rangers are getting positive reports from Japan.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.