Anyone expecting Nolan Ryan to rejoin the Houston Astros, don’t hold your breath.
Ryan is pondering whether to remain as CEO of the Texas Rangers, according to major-league sources. But even if he departs over an apparent power struggle, Ryan likely will balk at returning to the Astros, according to two major-league sources familiar with his thinking.
The Astros, under new ownership and a new front office, purged many of Ryan’s friends and associates last fall. In some cases, the Astros declined to renew the contracts of their employees. In others, they offered pay cuts that were rejected, sources said.
“No way Nolan will work for them,” one source said.
Ryan, 66, pitched for the Astros from 1980 to ’88. After retiring, he owned the team’s Double A and Triple A affiliates and served as a special assistant to the general manager before joining the Rangers in 2008.
He would resist any overtures from new owner Jim Crane out of loyalty to his old Astros’ associates, many of whom were longtime employees of the team, sources said.
Those associates include:
• Former bullpen assistant coach Stretch Suba (36 years with the club).
• Former strength coach Gene Coleman (34 years).
• Former traveling secretary Barry Waters (33 years).
• Former senior adviser Matt Galante (28 years).
• Former farm director Fred Nelson (27 years).
• Former executive assistant Traci Dearing (15 years).
• Former assistant GM Dave Gottfried (14 years).
• Former Triple A pitching coach Burt Hooton (13 years).
— Ken Rosenthal