The Round Rock Express and the Texas Rangers made it official today, formally announcing that the Express intend to pursue another major league team for an affiliation in 2019. The Express, who are owned in part by the Ryan family, have been expected to become a Houston Astros affiliate when the agreement with the Rangers expired at the end of this season since Nolan Ryan left the Rangers and joined the Astros.
The Oakland A’s announced today they were affiliating with the Las Vegas AAA team, and once the Astros officially announce they are joining up with Round Rock, that will leave three AAA teams — San Antonio, Nashville and Fresno — unaffiliated, with the Rangers, the Brewers and the Nationals looking for AAA homes.
The Rangers are expected to land in either San Antonio or Nashville. San Antonio has the advantage of being a place where the regional market can be developed, and is close to Arlington. It’s facilities are not considered to be as good as those at Nashville, however.
In the meantime, we can lament the Rangers missing on the opportunity to buy the Oklahoma City AAA affiliate, which was scooped up by the Dodgers.