Rangers need to start thinking about extending Frisco RoughRiders now

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The Frisco RoughRiders were recently purchased by Chuck Greenberg, the former CEO of the Texas Rangers.  The Rangers have enjoyed the benefit of having their double-A team close to Arlington since the 2003 season.

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In several ways they are lucky to have that benefit.  Prior to the 2003 season the Frisco RoughRiders were located in Shreveport, LA.   They were known as the Captains from 1971 to 2000 and renamed to the SwampDragons from 2001 to 2002.

"“Our relationship with the Rangers allows fans in the Dallas Fort-Worth area the opportunity to see some of the brightest young stars in all of minor league baseball before they reach the major leagues in Arlington.” – President/General Manager Scott Sonju (Press release)"

That’s exactly what’s happened since the RoughRiders have been in Frisco.  It’s been a very easy for fans to watch the Texas Rangers prospects and players do rehab assignments.  Also the media and the Texas Rangers staff is easily able to go watch their top prospects and players rehab throughout the season.

When the Texas Rangers signed the agreement with the RoughRiders they signed it through the 2014 season.  That means it was supposed to end this year, which is the first offseason that Chuck Greenberg owns the team.

But, luckily for the Rangers they signed a 4-year extension back in 2012 that lasts through the 2018 season.

"“We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with the Rangers for the next six years,” said RoughRiders President Scott Sonju. “RoughRiders fans are of course Rangers fans and we look forward to seeing the future of the Rangers as they come through Frisco.” (Press release – MiLB)"

That means the 4-year extension kicks in the 2015 season and the countdown begins for the Rangers to get a new deal in place.  Right now there isn’t a huge hurry and there probably won’t be anything done for a few years.

But, now is the time to start thinking about a new deal and securing the Frisco RoughRiders as their double-A affiliate.  The Texas Rangers Player Development Contract with the Myrtle Beach Pelican recently ended.   It came as a bit of a surprise that the class-A team owned by Chuck Greenberg didn’t renew their contract with the Texas Rangers.

The Rangers ended up leaving the Carolina League and signed a PDC with the High Desert Mavericks in the California League.  It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but the Rangers went from playing in a very nice weather climate area to basically the desert.  Also, another big difference in the leagues is that the California League is more of a hitters league.  That means it’s a bit tougher on pitchers and they tend to have higher ERAs.

Losing the Myrtle Beach Pelicans to the Chicago Cubs was a big loss for the Texas Rangers.  Hopefully the same thing won’t happen with the Frisco RoughRiders.  It does make you wonder how well of a relationship the Texas Rangers organization has with their former CEO Chuck Greenberg who owns both the RoughRiders and the Pelicans.  He didn’t seem to part ways on good terms with the teams, here’s what he said upon his departure..

"“I have great respect for the Texas Rangers franchise and am enormously proud of all we have accomplished together since August. Unfortunately, Nolan Ryan, the Co-Chairmen, and I have somewhat different styles. While I am disappointed we did not work through our differences, I remain wholeheartedly committed to doing what’s right for the franchise. Together we concluded it is best for all concerned for me to sell my interest back to Rangers Baseball Express and move on. I do so with a heavy heart, but with every confidence in the direction that the new management team is taking the Rangers and, with Nolan at the helm, I know this franchise will continue to thrive and reach even greater heights both on and off the field.” (Texas Rangers – Press release)"

It seems like that at the time Greenburg’s main differences were with Nolan Ryan during his departure.  Now that Ryan has left the Texas Rangers it would seem like the relationship between the Rangers and Greenberg might be better these days.

Hopefully for the fans, Rangers personnel and players that need to rehab the Rangers will be able to extend their contract with the Frisco RoughRiders.  If they don’t it could mean that by 2018 the Rangers could lose both the Frisco RoughRiders and the Round Rock Express.  The Round Rock Express is a different story.  But, it’s very beneficial for the Rangers to have the team in Texas and a much added benefit that Frisco is very close to Arlington.  My suggestion for the Rangers is don’t wait, get Frisco extended as soon as possible.  Keep the Frisco RoughRiders the double-A team for the Rangers.

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