The Texas Rangers and the Nashville Sounds have entered into a four year player development agreement, the team announced today. Nashville of the Pacific Coast League will be the Texas Rangers’ new AAA affiliate through the 2022 season.
The Rangers had reportedly prioritized Nashville as their top choice to replace Round Rock for their AAA team. The Round Rock Express announced yesterday that, as expected, they would no longer be affiliated with the Rangers. The Express are owned in part by the Nolan Ryan family, and both Nolan Ryan and his son Reid Ryan are now part of the Houston Astros organization, so the Rangers expected their affiliation with the Express to end at the end of this season.
While there was originally talk that the Rangers would look to pair up with San Antonio — who announced an affiliation with the Milwaukee Brewers earlier today — the stadium and facilities at San Antonio are subpar, leading Texas to prefer to have Nashville as their affiliate. The other option, Fresno, was less desirable due to travel considerations — Nashville is just a two hour flight from Dallas, making shuttling players back and forth as needed easier.