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Rangers extend Hickory agreement

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HOUSTON -- The Rangers have reached a four-year agreement with Class A Hickory on their player development contract that will run through 2018. Hickory is the lower of the two full-season Class A teams.

The Rangers now have agreements with Hickory, Triple-A Round Rock and Double-A Frisco through the 2018 season. The agreement with Round Rock remains an interesting situation.

The Round Rock Express is owned by Nolan Ryan, the Rangers former club president who is now a special assistant to the Astros. His son Reid is the Astros president of business operations and his other son Reese runs the Round Rock Express. The Astros have their Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City. The Rangers were affiliated with Oklahoma City from 1983 to 2010 before switching to Round Rock.

The Rangers still have to reach an agreement with Class A Myrtle Beach in the advanced Class A Carolina League. That could be a difficult situation.

The Rangers are one of 15 Major League teams whose player-development contract with their advanced Class A team expires at the end of the season. That includes the Braves , who weren't happy about losing Myrtle Beach four years ago, the Cubs, who might want out of Daytona Beach in the Florida State League, and the Reds, who are stuck in Bakersfield in the California League.

Myrtle Beach is one of the more highly desired locations in Class A. The Pelicans are owned by Chuck Greenberg, the former Rangers CEO whose group also just bought the Frisco Roughriders. BB&T Coastal Field in Myrtle Beach is considered one of the top facilities in the Minor Leagues.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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