Rangers leaving Oklahoma City
Club officials have confirmed that the Rangers are planning to switch their Triple A affiliate from Oklahoma City to Round Rock for the 2011 season.
The Rangers extended their working agreements with Double A Frisco and Class A Spokane and Hickory on Monday. But Oklahoma City was left out of the announcement.
At this time, clubs can only work on renewing their agreements with their present affiliates. They can not begin talks with other affiliates until later in September.
But club president Nolan Ryan also owns the Round Rock team and it has long been a foregone conclusion that the Rangers would switch in 2011. The Rangers have been at Oklahoma City since 1983. The Astros, currently in Round Rock, will likely switch to Oklahoma City.
The switch would help the Rangers gain inroads into the Central Texas market although they have enjoyed a strong following in Oklahoma City over the years.
The Rangers would also like to find a new high Class A affiliate. Currently they are at Bakersfield in the California League but play in one of the oldest ballparks in the Minor Leagues and the situation there is not a good one.
There is a possibility they could switch to Myrtle Beach in the Carolina League. Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg is one of the owners there but Myrtle Beach has a strong relationship with the Atlanta Braves. That is still up in the air.
The agreement with Frisco is a four-year deal. Spokane and Hickory are two-year deals.