ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — The Round Rock Express are expected to officially announce the team’s new affiliation with the Houston Astros at a news conference Thursday night.
Round Rock notified the Texas Rangers on Tuesday of its intention to seek a new Professional Development Contract for the 2018 season and beyond. The Express has been the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate since 2011. Last week the Astros ended its Triple-A affiliation with the Fresno Grizzlies.
Round Rock has strong ties to the Astros since Round Rock’s owner and namesake Nolan Ryan is currently an adviser to the big league team, and Ryan’s son, Reid Ryan, is the Astros president. Nolan Ryan’s nickname was “The Ryan Express.”
Round Rock President Chris Almendarez says it’s always made sense for Major League teams in the state to want to be associated with the Express, and vice versa.
“I think when you look at what makes the best decision for teams to play here, I think any team in Texas are the teams we want to be affiliated with because of what we talked about earlier… you could watch a kid play here and then tomorrow he’s either playing in Dallas or playing in Houston.”
Round Rock is also expected to unveil potential uniform and logo changes at Thursday night’s event.