The Texas Rangers high-A team will be in Kinston, North Carolina, as part of a newly expanded Carolina League, the Rangers have announced today. The Rangers have agreed to purchase a controlling interest in a new franchise that will begin play in Kinston in 2017.
Along those same lines, Minor League Baseball has officially announced that the California League franchises in High Desert and in Bakersfield will be contracted after this season. Bakersfield is a one-time home of the Rangers' high-A affiliate, and the Rangers are currently affiliated with High Desert. Both affiliates were considered to be near the bottom of the pecking order among high-A affiliates.
The Rangers never wanted to leave the Carolina League, but after failing to work out an agreement with Chuck Greenberg to extend their affiliation with Myrtle Beach, they ended up losing out on a game of affiliate musical chairs that saw them end up in High Desert in 2015.
Tepid will, I suspect, be weighing in on these moves in the next day or so...