Nolan Ryan's Round Rock Express is ditching the Texas Rangers and will likely return to being a farm team for the Houston Astros.
On Monday, the Triple-A affiliate of the Rangers announced they had notified both Minor and Major League Baseball that they intended to seek a new Professional Development Contract next season and beyond.
"The relationship that we've developed, both professionally and personally, with the Texas Rangers over the last eight years has truly been an honor for our organization," Express President Chris Almendarez said.
The Express followed that statment up with a couple of tweets, one thanking the Rangers and another hinting at an announcement coming on Thursday.
While the Express have not said officially who they'll partner with - it's not a stretch to guess it'll be the Houston Astros.
For 10 seasons, before being the Rangers affiliate, the Express were the Astros Triple-A (2005-2010) and Double-A (2000-2004) affiliate.
What's more, the Express are principally owned by Astros/Rangers great Nolan Ryan and Don Sanders. Express CEO Reese Ryan is the brother of Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan -- both are Nolan's sons and Nolan currently has a position in the Astros front office.
It wasn't until after Nolan Ryan had an ownership stake in the Texas Rangers (2010) that the Rangers switched their Triple-A affiliation from the Oklahoma City RedHawks to the Round Rock Express beginning in the 2011 season.
The latest news from around North Texas.
So where do the Rangers go from here? According to a report in The Dallas Morning News, the Rangers are down to only two locations to partner with in 2019 and 2020 -- Fresno and Nashville.
New Renderings Revealed of Rangers New Park
In 2018, the Rangers had the following affiliations: Round Rock Express (Triple-A); Frisco RoughRiders (Double-A); Down East Wood Ducks (Class A-Advanced); Hickory Crawdads (Class A); Spokane Indians (Class A Short Season); AZL Rangers (Rookie League) and DSL Rangers 1 and 2 (Foreign Rookie).
Only the Rangers 2019 and 2020 Triple-A and Class A Short Season contracts are TBD.