Nolan Ryan issued a four-sentence statement on Sunday afternoon that confirmed his future with the Texas Rangers remains in limbo.
Ryan arrived at the Surprise Recreation Campus around 9:30 a.m. local time on Sunday and spoke briefly, but said he had no new information regarding his status.
The optimism that Ryan will remain with the team that surfaced Saturday is beginning to erode somewhat, sources said.
Ryan issued his statement later in the day, saying his conversations with principal owners Bob Simpson and Ray Davis have been “productive.” But the statement didn’t shed any light on Ryan’s future.
“Over the last week, Ray Davis, Bob Simpson and I have been in discussion and met in-person,” Ryan’s statement read. “The conversations have been productive, and we have discussed my role as CEO of the organization. We agreed these discussions will continue as we go forward.
“I am very proud of what the Rangers have accomplished over the last several years and I believe our preparations for the upcoming season are what is important.”
Ryan is not expected to make any additional comments and there is no timetable for him to make a decision.
Ryan could hold off on announcing his decision until the end of spring training and the season-opening series in Houston, as reported by the Star-Telegram on March 4.
Ryan, according to sources, has two obligations he made months ago to fulfill: in San Antonio for the Rangers’ two exhibition games there March 29-30, and in Houston during the Rangers’ season-opening series against the Astros.
The 66-year-old Hall of Fame pitcher and Texas icon has been contemplating his future with the organization after he lost his team president title on March 1. The Rangers promoted Jon Daniels to president of baseball operations/general manager and Rick George to president of business operations.
Ryan held both of those titles, along with CEO, and is now simply the CEO. With the changes, Ryan began to wonder if he had the same authority he has had the past two years or if he would just be a figurehead.
Ryan flew back to Texas to meet with Simpson and Davis for three hours on Friday to discuss his role, and then had dinner with Simpson at Del Frisco’s in Fort Worth.
Simpson called the meeting “positive” and Ryan returned to Surprise on Saturday.
It appeared that the Rangers and Ryan were close to a resolution that could have been announced as early as Sunday, but that did not come to fruition.
Simpson and Daniels have maintained that Ryan still has the final say in baseball and business operations, but Ryan’s silence and innocuous statement suggests he sees things differently.
Sources told the Star-Telegram last week that Ryan was so upset and unsure of what his role would be that he was considering leaving his post. As of Sunday, nothing had changed in that regard as it’s been a holding pattern going into its 10th day.
So the Rangers and Ryan will try to go about their business as usual to prepare for the season.
But Ryan’s role, power and future with the club remain in limbo. His statement, if anything, confirmed that Sunday.