But when Rangers president Nolan Ryan became part owner of the big league team, the partnership was destined to end. Ryan is also the owner of Round Rock minor league franchise.
Houston had been affiliated in some way with Round Rock since 2000; Round Rock has been the Astros’ Triple-A team the last six seasons.
Once the Rangers' affiliation with Round Rock became official, the Astros made no secret of their preference to partner with Oklahoma City.
“Oklahoma City is a very attractive market for any team to be associated with,” Byrnes said. “It works out well for them because of the ballpark here, the facilities, the proximity and the base of support here.”
Round Rock finished 57-87 this season, finishing last in the American Conference Southern division. It was the team's fourth consecutive fourth-place finish after winning the division in 2006. The RedHawks won three division titles in the last five years as the Rangers affiliate.
It was announced last week that Marc Bombard would not return as the Astros' Triple-A manager. He spent two seasons with Round Rock.
Astros general manager Ed Wade said it was important to find a Triple-A manager with a strong relationship and similar philosophies as Houston's manager.
Houston's Double-A team, the Corpus Christi Hooks, finished 63-77 overall in the Texas League. The Hooks finished last in the second half after a second-place finish in the first half.