While the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago White Sox are two of the options for the RedHawks to partner with next baseball season, there are plenty of other big league organizations that figure to be available.
As of now, 13 teams have player development contracts (PDC) that expire following this season, including Oklahoma City and the Texas Rangers.
While some teams that have expiring deals are likely to renew their PDCs before the end of the season, Oklahoma City figures to have plenty of options.
The RedHawks are seen as an attractive commodity for several reasons:
*AT&T Bricktown Ballpark. The park is 12 years old, but it's still among the best in Triple-A.
*Oklahoma City is attractive for its central location, which would make it relatively easy to move players back and forth between the city and the big league team.
While the Houston Astros were at one time considered a logical choice to move their affiliate to Oklahoma City, it now appears unlikely it will be that easy.
Houston is currently affiliated with Round Rock, which is expected to become affiliated with Texas after the season. Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan owns the Round Rock franchise and is part of the ownership group that recently purchased the Rangers.
Houston was Oklahoma City's Triple-A affiliate from 1962-1972, when the 89ers played at All Sports Stadium.
But the Astros' player development has been less than spectacular in recent years. Poor drafts, including 2007, when Houston failed to sign any of its picks before the fifth round, have hurt the organization.
Baseball America had Houston last in its organizational rankings before the season.
The Arizona Diamondbacks also were ranked low in Baseball America's list (No. 28) but could be a possibility for Oklahoma City if they decided to leave Reno.
Arizona's affiliate had been in Tucson for the first 11 seasons of the big league team's existence, but the Tucson franchise moved to Reno last year in the final year of the club's player development contract. So the Diamondbacks figure to at least be open to the possibility of change.
Toronto long had a similar cozy relationship with its Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse. But the Jays were left scrambling when Syracuse decided to go with the Washington Nationals two years ago because of Toronto's history of struggling teams at the Triple-A level.
The Blue Jays wound up going with Las Vegas, by far the longest distance separating a major league club with its top affiliate.
The first day a PDC can be signed with a team is Sept. 16, and deals must be made in two- or four-year increments.