For a manager who has lost his No. 2 starter because of a dog-trips-man accident and does not yet have a contract beyond this season, Ron Washington exuded unbridled optimism Thursday. He was as jaunty as his cabbie hat.

The knee injury that forced left-hander Derek Holland, the Rangers’ leader in starts and innings last season, to undergo micro-fracture surgery that will sideline him until at least the All-Star break?

“What a piece to bring back in the middle of the season, Derek Holland,” Washington said during a stop on the club’s preseason tub-thumping tour of the state. “This gives someone else an opportunity to step up.”

Having a contract that expires at the end of this season?
“Right now, I’m in great shape,” Washington said. “My security, as far as I’m concerned, is the present. And I’m secure right now.”

Washington is among five managers who are not signed beyond this season. The others are Arizona’s Kirk Gibson, Atlanta’s Fredi Gonzalez, Pittsburgh’s Clint Hurdle and Milwaukee’s Ron Roenicke.

Hurdle is expected to come off the list soon with a multi-year extension. Washington expects to receive the same treatment but does not know when that will happen.

Washington said general manager Jon Daniels raised the subject of an extension during a midseason conversation. Washington came away from the discussion expecting the club to propose a multi-year extension.

“Jon said he will take care of this, and I believe he will,” Washington said. “The timetable, I’m not pushing it.”

In a season review, Daniels said he planned on sounding out ownership about an extension for Washington. Daniels has withheld comment since then but has consistently praised Washington.

That nothing tangible has been done since that midseason talk does not concern Washington. He saw Daniels as having a more important matter to attend to — putting together a team that would improve on the offensively challenged group that flopped last season and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2009.