The Texas Rangers and Triple-A Nashville Sounds announced Tuesday they've agreed to a four-year Player Development Contract through the 2022 season.
The news comes after the Rangers current Triple-A team, the Round Rock Express, announced their intent to seek a new contract with a new major league club next season and beyond. The Express, principally owned by Nolan Ryan, are expected to sign a deal with the Astros, where Ryan is employed in the front office and where his son Reid is president of baseball operations.
A formal announcement between the Rangers and Sounds will be made Thursday at 1 p.m. at First Tennessee Park in Nashville.
“The Texas Rangers are very pleased to enter into this four-year player development contract with the Nashville Sounds,” said Texas Rangers Co-Chairman and Managing Partner Ray Davis. “Led by Frank Ward and Adam Nuse, the Sounds are one of Minor League Baseball’s top organizations.
“The Sounds have received incredible fan support as the franchise finished fourth in Minor League Baseball in overall attendance with over 600,000 fans attending games at beautiful First Tennessee Park in downtown Nashville in 2018. For a number of reasons, this became a very attractive location for our Triple-A club and we look forward to a productive relationship with the Sounds," said Davis.
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The Sounds become just the third Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate in the last 37 years. Texas was affiliated with Oklahoma City from 1983-2010 and completed an eight-year affiliation with Round Rock in 2018. The Sounds, who were affiliated with Oakland from 2015-18, play at First Tennessee Park, which opened in 2015.
“The Nashville Sounds front office has a great reputation of taking care of its players, and we believe this is a tremendous opportunity,” said Texas Rangers President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jon Daniels. “I think our players and development staff will enjoy playing and working in an environment with first-class facilities and an exciting game atmosphere.”
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).
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With the deal with Nashville on the horizon, the Rangers' only open development contracts are for the Class A Short Season league.