The assumption among Texas Rangers executives is that the Houston Astros will sign a player development contract with Round Rock after the 2018 season, leaving the Rangers to scramble for a new Triple A affiliate.
Round Rock is owned by Ryan-Sanders Baseball, and Reid Ryan is the Astros’ president and his father, Nolan, is a special assistant. The current agreement with the Rangers was signed in 2013 before Ryan left his position as Rangers CEO.
The Rangers expect to be formally told of Round Rock’s intentions next month at the winter meetings, and they are hopeful they will be able to find a new affiliate relatively close to Arlington.
Houston would vacate Fresno, Calif., and the Rangers want to avoid being that far away from their Triple A club.
One potential landing spot could be El Paso. The Chihuahuas’ player development contract with the San Diego Padres ends after next season. Also, Wichita, a former home to a team in the Double A Texas League that is interested in bringing minor-league baseball back to Kansas.