Fox26's Mark Berman just tweeted that Jim Crane has announced Reid Ryan as the new Team President of Business Operations.
The 2nd half of his tweet was much more interesting:
Astros owner Jim Crane announces Reid Ryan as team pres. of business ops. & Crane says Astros buying C.C. Hooks & team will stay in Corpus.
Now this is interesting, as it locks up the Astros in Corpus until the earth crashes into the sun. I don't know that there was ever a fear that Ryan-Sanders Baseball would ever move the Hooks, not with that stadium, and not with the Rangers' Double-A team in Frisco. But it does start a trend that Crane has said before that he'd like to continue: owning the minor-league affiliates. That's part of the allure of the potential Woodlands Triple-A team.
We've mentioned before that the Astros don't own the Oklahoma City RedHawks - Mandalay Baseball Properties does. This is something Crane wants to change, and the change is happening, beginning with Corpus.
This March 2013 article in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times quotes Reid Ryan specifically as saying that the franchise was not for sale. Ryan:
As far as selling the club, I’ve not been approached in any capacity
of, ‘Hey, we want to buy Corpus Christi.’ We’ve not had any offers come
across our table in the entire time we’ve owned the Hooks.
Our philosophy is that this is a long-term, family owned business.
We not only have a lot of money in, but we have a lot of sweat equity in
it and a lot of years. So we’re not looking to move
anything. That’s really all I can say at this time. We’re holders not
Update: Greg Rajan picks up the story on the Hooks' end.
Hooks President Ken Schrom says that Reid Ryan has made sure that the Hooks will be an Astros affiliate "until a meteor hits the earth," and that the sale will be finalized in the fall. The Astros will take control of the team following the 2013 season. Hooks personnel will report to Ryan, and the team name/logo will not change.