Oklahoma City RedHawks: What does the future hold for OKC's Major League Baseball affiliate?

The Houston Astros have one year left on a two-year contract with Mandalay Baseball Properties, which runs five minor league teams, including the Oklahoma City RedHawks.
by Michael Baldwin Published: September 15, 2013
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photo - Groundskeepers Danielle Fox, at left, and  Kylee Rounsaville help prepare the field before an Oklahoma City RedHawks minor league baseball game at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Friday, July 26, 2013.  Kylee Rounsaville and Danielle Fox are the first female groundskeepers in the 16-year history of the Oklahoma City RedHawks.  Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Groundskeepers Danielle Fox, at left, and Kylee Rounsaville help prepare the field before an Oklahoma City RedHawks minor league baseball game at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Friday, July 26, 2013. Kylee Rounsaville and Danielle Fox are the first female groundskeepers in the 16-year history of the Oklahoma City RedHawks. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

The Houston Astros have one year left on a two-year contract with Mandalay Baseball Properties, which runs five minor league teams, including the Oklahoma City RedHawks.

But when the Astros/RedHawks contract expires next September, who will be the RedHawks' MLB affiliate in 2015?

The three leading candidates are the Astros, Rangers and Marlins.

The simple solution is the Astros and RedHawks sign a two-year deal through 2016.

But there's a new variable. In May, the Astros named Reid Ryan team president.

In March, Astros owner Jim Crane announced he's dreamed about building a ballpark in The Woodlands, a Houston suburb, and moving his Triple-A affiliate 30 miles north of Minute Maid Park. But Reid Ryan, Nolan's son, has gone on record saying he's against that proposal.

In an interview with SB Nation, Ryan said his father doesn't like having the Rangers' Double-A affiliate in Frisco, a Dallas suburb, because Nolan feels it directly competes with the Rangers.

How does that impact the RedHawks?

One rumor is Reid Ryan's first choice might be Round Rock, an organization he helped build, a city located two hours from Houston. The sticking point is the Rangers and Round Rock have a deal through 2018.

But if all parties agree — Rangers, Astros, Round Rock and Oklahoma City — the Astros feasibly could move their Triple-A team back to Round Rock and the Rangers would return to OKC.

Again, it's only a rumor. But there's precedence involving Round Rock.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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