Nolan Ryan meets with Astros
Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan has some pondering to do before spring training begins.
The former Texas Rangers CEO met with a group of Houston Astros front office personnel on Tuesday at Minute Maid Park that included owner Jim Crane and GM Jeff Luhnow and has to decide whether to join the organization in what he described as a consultant job.
"I have to figure out what I want to do, whether that's more on the baseball side or the business side," Ryan said Tuesday evening, adding that he'd like to decide by the time spring training begins in mid-February.
Ryan, who turns 67 on Friday, said if he took a role in the organization, he wouldn't have an office and would likely help out on the developmental side and with the big league club.
"I'd be able to help out and be around in whatever capacity they needed," said Ryan, whose son, Reid, is the president of business operations with the club.
Ryan admitted that he's enjoyed not having a set schedule and spending time at his ranch in the months since he resigned from his post as CEO of the Rangers.
Ryan said at the time of his departure that it wasn't a retirement and that he would take some time before figuring out his next step.
He sent signals that he's considered returning to the game about 10 days ago, when he made an appearance at a UT-Arlington baseball banquet at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and said he would be "open" to getting involved if another organization was interested.
Crane told the Houston Chronicle last week that he planned to sit down with Ryan and discuss whether there was a potential job that could fit him in the Astros organization.
Ryan joined the Rangers in early 2008 as president and helped oversee the Rangers' rebuilding efforts that eventually led to World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011. Ryan was a member of the ownership group that purchased the club out of bankruptcy court in 2010. His group, led by Chuck Greenberg and current co-chairmen of the board Ray Davis and Bob Simpson, eventually placing the highest bid at an auction against a group headed by Crane and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
Ryan added the title of CEO in spring training of 2011 when Greenberg was forced out. Ryan left the team in October and had his ownership stake bought out.
Ryan grew up in Alvin, which is close to Houston, and kept a close eye on the Astros. He pitched for the club for nine years and rejoined the organization in 2004 after then owner Drayton McLane signed him to a five-year personal services contract. He was allowed to leave Houston a year early when Rangers owner Tom Hicks hired him as president.