Apparent progress on Ryan front.

According to widespread local reports Friday evening, Nolan Ryan flew from Surprise to Arlington at some point yesterday to meet with Co-Chairmen Bob Simpson and Ray Davis in an apparent effort to clarify the club role that ownership envisions for Ryan and to bring a much-needed resolution to the matter of Ryan’s future with the organization.

Simpson told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram last night that the meeting had “positive” results, adding: “I wouldn’t say it’s resolved, but hopefully we can get there.”

The Dallas Morning News reports that Ryan was on his way back to Surprise this morning, and that, according to a source, the organization is “expected to release word about his future” at some point today, though Rangers officials would not confirm or deny that a Saturday statement would be forthcoming.

As for the rumor that gained momentum yesterday regarding Astros owner Jim Crane’s possible interest in bringing Ryan back to that franchise, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that, according to “two Major League sources familiar with [Ryan’s] thinking,” the 66-year-old would “likely . . . balk at returning to the Astros, . . . [who] purged many of Ryan’s friends and associates [from the organization] last fall,” including a number of big league and minor league coaches and baseball operations officials who had been with Houston for more than a decade and in several instances more than 30 years.

But if the latest local reports are any indication, any questions about a possible Ryan return to the Astros will be moot, as it at least appears that meaningful progress has been made toward a meeting of the minds that will satisfy Ryan and keep him in Arlington.

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