The saga of the Texas Rangers and their high-A affiliate has been twisting and turning for some time, with the latest development being the news that, per Josh Norris of Baseball America, the Rangers have had a lease agreement in place with the city of Kinston, North Carolina, since the middle of 2015. Norris says that the agreement gives the Rangers until the start of the 2017 season to get a ballclub in place at the stadium in Kinston.
The Rangers' current affiliation with the High Desert Mavericks of the high-A California League expires at the end of this season, and the owners of the Mavericks are in litigation with the city of High Desert over the lease. The plan, it sounds like, is for High Desert and another California League team -- likely the Bakersfield Blaze, which, as Norris notes, is an
Astros M's affiliate owned by an ownership group that doesn't really want the team, and which has an untenable stadium situation -- to relocate to the Carolina League for 2017. The Carolina League is generally seen as a more desirable place to have an affiliate than the California League. Ed. Note -- The M's, not the Astros, are affiliated with Bakersfield; however, the Astros are the ones looking to move, along with the Rangers, to the Carolina League.
The Rangers had their high-A affiliate with Myrtle Beach for several years, until the Pelicans, owned by Chuck Greenberg, couldn't work out a deal to extend the agreement, and ended up becoming a Cubs affiliate. The Rangers looked at various other options before ultimately being left standing in a game of musical affiliates, resulting in the team ending up in High Desert.
Norris writes that, if the Rangers do end up relocating to Kinston, the lease agreement provides for a 12 year deal, which would hopefully provide some stability for the organization. At the same time, it appears that the Rangers will be moving their AAA affiliate from Round Rock to San Antonio in a couple of years, as well...the combination of moves, along with the current situation with Frisco in the Texas League, would provide the Rangers with a greater degree of stability going forward.