The Oklahoma RedHawks will remain the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers for the foreseeable future contrary to rumors working their way around some circles within the city.
When Nolan Ryan purchased Houston's Triple-A team in Round Rock in 2004, rumors and speculation followed. Some thought Ryan would ultimately like to move the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate from Oklahoma City to Round Rock. But Oklahoma and the Rangers are midway through a four-year player development contract that is set to expire in 2010. Any discussions about the team leaving before that agreement is idle speculation, said Rangers director of minor league operations John Lombardo. "It's ridiculous,” he said. "We're obligated to fulfill that agreement, and we want to fulfill it. We have no intentions of moving the team before that agreement is up, and we've had no internal discussions whatsoever about moving out of Oklahoma City. We're more than happy with Oklahoma City and have no intention of changing directions.” Lombardo said moving the Triple-A team to Round Rock wouldn't make a lot of sense for either party involved. "From our understanding, the Astros are very happy with their relationship with Round Rock,” Lombardo said. "That would be against the rules anyway. We have an agreement, and to break it, Major League Baseball would become involved along with Houston.