HOUSTON -- While there has been speculation the Astros will lose their Triple-A affiliation in Round Rock when the player-development contract between the club and the Ryan-Sanders-owned Express expires at the end of this year, Nolan Ryan said he expects Double-A Corpus Christi to remain an Astros affiliate indefinitely.
Ryan, president of the Texas Rangers, has an ownership stake in the Astros' affiliates in Round Rock and Corpus Christi. The Astros' contract with Corpus Christi is set to expire after the 2012 season, but Ryan said the relationship will remain.
"I don't see anything happening with Corpus," Ryan said. "The Round Rock situation, that's probably a little different because Corpus Christi is Astros country, and I think it's only fair to continue with that relationship. And to predict what's going to happen with Round Rock is premature."
If Ryan shifts the Round Rock affiliate to the Rangers after this year, the Astros would likely take over the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City.
"We haven't gotten any definitive information where that stands," Astros general manager Ed Wade said. "Our position hasn't changed. We think it's a great environment for us, and we consider it an Astros market and the Ryan-Sanders people have been great to us and the fans are great. We only have so much control of the situation. The rest of it rests in the hands of Nolan and his partners."
The Rangers' Double-A affiliate is currently in Frisco, which is just north of Dallas.