A front-office shakeup in Texas might leave Nolan Ryan on the outside looking in, and according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the strikeout king might be gone by the end of spring training.
Ryan is still the Rangers CEO, but Jon Daniels now has final say over all baseball decisions, the Star-Telegram reported. In addition, Rick George has been promoted to president of business operations. And while those moves were announced over the weekend, they actually took place in late November.
Rangers co-owner Bob Simpson said the 66-year-old Ryan is not being forced out.
"Nolan Ryan leaving the Rangers would be a tragedy, and something we don't want to happen," Simpson said Sunday. "We absolutely do not want Nolan to leave. The moves we announced [on Friday] were to preserve Nolan, not to remove him, or remove his power. We want Nolan to be with the Rangers forever, and in charge of the team as long as he wants to be."
As CEO, Ryan has helped make the Rangers perennial pennant contenders. He has three years left on his contract. But if he was to leave, another Texas team could be a landing spot for the "Ryan Express."
The Houston Astros have moved to the American League and might welcome Ryan to the front office to be the face of the franchise. Ryan pitched for the Astros from 1980-1988.
The Astros and Rangers play in the A.L. West.