The Texas Rangers are bringing Ian Kinsler back as a special assistant to general manager Chris Young.
Young announced the addition on Monday as Kinsler joined him for a press conference with local media.
“We’re thrilled to have him,” Young began. “We’re very grateful to the San Diego Padres for allowing Ian to come home. Ian and I were teammates a long time ago. He’s a close friend and someone I really respect.”
“His pedigree as a player speaks for itself,” Young continued. “World Series champion, he’s been part of the most successful Ranger teams in Rangers history.”
“It’s a great feeling to be able to be part of this organization,” Kinsler remarked. “I grew up here. I was drafted by the organization. There was a lot of people throughout this organization that made an impact on my career, and then obviously, having CY here now, it just seemed like the pieces were all falling in the right place.”
“I’m truly excited to be a part of what is being built here.”
Young and Kinsler were both part of the Rangers organization as players in 2004 and 2005, although they were never on the major league field together.
Kinsler debuted for the Rangers in 2006, when Young was a member of the Padres, and spent eight seasons playing the keystone in Texas.
He was later traded to the Detroit Tigers for first baseman Prince Fielder and spent four seasons with the club. He also played for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and won a World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2018 before playing his final season with Padres.
Kinsler had been a San Diego front office member since his retirement.
The former Rangers second baseman says he is looking forward to impacting the young players. He is managing Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic, an international tournament being played from March 8 through March 21, but told the media members present that he will attend spring training in Arizona upon conclusion.
“I think what I’m most excited about with Ian is the competitiveness that he brings, the edge that he brings on a daily basis,” Young added. “In speaking to him, that hasn’t changed; that hasn’t gone away.”
“I think he’s someone who really, really wants to win. He knows what it takes to win. He wants to be successful in the next chapter of his baseball career, and so we’re very fortunate that Ian wants to be here to pursue that next chapter and really thrilled to have him.”
Young also emphasized that he wants to get more former players involved in the organization.
“We have a great history of successful players, and I know it’s important to me; it’s very important to Boch (new manager Bruce Bochy), that we involve those guys and keep them a part of the organization.”
Young told the media present that he envisions Kinsler being heavily involved in player development and personnel decisions as well as mentoring and leading the players and staff and taking “his experiences and the success he’s had and help someone else do the same.”
“Ultimately, that’s what all of us are trying to do, is to set all our young players up for success. Every player who wears a Ranger uniform deserves our best, and that’s what we’re going to give them.”
“Ian has a wealth of experience and competitiveness that allowed him to have an unbelievable career, and for him to impart that wisdom on our players — we’re very fortunate to have someone like Ian.”