The Texas Rangers have prepared all winter to deal with the losses of Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli, but how will they adapt if CEO Nolan Ryan decides to part ways with the club?
Speculation about The Ryan Express' impending departure has been in full force for almost two weeks now. The rumors began when Jon Daniels and Rick George were promoted to president of baseball ops and president of business ops, respectively, at the start of the month -- titles that had been Ryan's up to that point.
More Rangers: Signs Point to Ryan Staying?
Ryan remained completely mum on the situation until Sunday afternoon, when he released a four-sentence statement on his status with the club:
"Over the last week, [co-owners] Ray Davis, Bob Simpson, and I have been in discussion and met in-person. The conversations have been productive, and we have discussed my role as CEO of the organization. We agreed these discussions will continue as we go forward.
I am very proud of what the Rangers have accomplished over the last several years, and I believe our preparations for the upcoming season are what is important. "
It's easy to read almost anything into a short, nebulous statement like this, but it should be noted that Ryan does nothing to dispel the rumors about the possibility of him leaving the organization. That discussions are ongoing seems to indicate that there is a chance he'll remain on in a lesser capacity -- if just CEO can really be called "lesser" -- but also indicate that Ryan may be unhappy with a role that has less day-to-day impact.
Ryan has held the position of president or CEO of the Rangers since February 2008, and was co-head of the partnership group that won the club at auction in 2010. In Ryan's five seasons with the Rangers, the club has reached the playoffs three times, reaching the World Series in 2010 and 2011.