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It’s now official: Rangers, Express sign four-year PDC

Texas RangersWe reported it would happen a month ago, and today the Texas Rangers and Round Rock Express (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) made it official: the Express will be the Rangers’ top farm team for the next four years.

No surprise: we reported a month ago the shift was likely to happen. The reason behind the shift: Express owner Ryan is now an owner of the Rangers. It’s the first major affiliate shift of the 2010 affiliate dance. It forces the Houston Astros, the former parent of the Express, to find a new parent; the pickins are pretty slim this late in the process, though the Oklahoma City RedHawks (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) is the most likely target.

“The Rangers are very happy to be entering this agreement with the Round Rock Express,” said Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels. “Under the ownership and management of the Ryan Sanders Baseball, the Express have become one of the top affiliates in all the minor leagues. We look forward to a long and successful partnership.

“I would like to thank the Oklahoma City RedHawks for their assistance and support over the last 28 years. That franchise has served the Rangers well, and we wish Oklahoma City the very best in the future.”

“Our family was able to get into baseball ownership in 1998 because of the support of the people of Round Rock,” Express Baseball Owner and CEO Reid Ryan said. “More than a decade later, it is hard to believe that Nolan Ryan is the owner of Double-A, Triple-A and Major League teams. This is a reunion for Ryan Sanders Baseball, and it allows our families and baseball fans to continue what we started here in Round Rock in 1998.”

Here’s a look at the current affiliate status.

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