ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — The Round Rock Express officially accepted its invitation to become the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers on a 10-year deal, keeping the Rangers organization in Round Rock through the 2030 season, the club announced on Tuesday.
The Express and the Rangers announced each side has signed Major League Baseball’s Professional Development License (PDL). Under the new PDL system, MLB will govern all aspects of MiLB moving forward. MiLB clubs were given a Feb. 10 deadline to accept the terms of the PDL.
“We are so excited to sign the PDL and formally accept the Texas Rangers invitation to become their new Triple-A affiliate,” Express President Chris Almendarez said. “We have an outstanding history with the Rangers organization and can’t wait to see the next wave of talent come through Round Rock.”
“It’s a good chance it will be 10 years and beyond. That we become a permanent part of the Texas Rangers organization,” Ryan Sanders Sports & Entertainment CEO Reid Ryan said.
Ryan said he’s in full support of the new, 10-year deals across minor league baseball because of how the game has changed.
In the past, minor league agreements would last two to four years. The 10-year agreement gives the organization stability to create an infrastructure, Ryan said.
From the top to the bottom, major league organizations want to develop players with their own unique systems. Clubs have their own analytics, their own video processes and their own training protocols — which is all focused toward winning with their own players.
“Having this two to four year dance, we really had outgrown that. All of us, no matter our position, want to win. They want to win in Arlington. We want to win in Round Rock. All of the other major league teams want to win. People, in their best interest, would switch affiliations if it gave them an advantage on the field to win or gave them an advantage at the gate,” Ryan said.
Almendarez said the club is hoping to get a schedule finalized within the next few weeks and are still working with Williamson County and the City of Round Rock to establish attendance guidelines for 2021 games.
In December, the Express shifted back to the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers after the Houston Astros announced a move to Sugar Land in November.
Round Rock was the Rangers’ highest MiLB affiliate from 2011-18 before they moved affiliation to Nashville two years ago.