Triple-A baseball will remain in Oklahoma City next year. The question is, which MLB team will the RedHawks be affiliated with? After 28 seasons as the Texas Rangers' top affiliate, the teams could choose to go in separate directions. Team management can start negotiating with team once the RedHawks' season ends Sept. 6, first negotiating with Texas and then possibly expanding to others. Here's a look at the most likely candidates:
If the Rangers sale keeps dragging out or Nolan Ryan's group doesn't wind up buying the team, there are more reasons for the cities to stay affiliated than to end the long partnership.
If the Rangers go with Round Rock as their affiliate, the easiest move for the RedHawks, at least in the short term, would be Houston. The Astros are currently affiliated with Round Rock but, like the RedHawks, the Express' Player Development Contract is up after this season.
If Texas and Oklahoma City go their separate ways, this one might make the most sense from the management end. Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria formerly owned the then-89ers, and many of the front office and player development personnel with the Marlins have strong Oklahoma ties.
Brewers GM Doug Melvin is familiar with Oklahoma City, having served as the Rangers GM from 1994-2001. The Brewers' agreement with Nashville is up after this year, and Milwaukee could be looking to move.