The Rangers are moving their AAA affiliate to Round Rock

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It’s been rumored forever, but the Round Rock Express — currently the Astros’ AAA affiliate — has called a press conference for Thursday during which it will be announced that they’re going to become the Rangers top minor league club.

Well, we presume so, given that they’re (a) partially-owned by Nolan Ryan; (b) Nolan Ryan now partially-owns the Rangers; (c) Ryan will be at the press conference; and (d) everyone on the planet has been saying this would happen.

But boy, it would be the heel-turn to end all heel-turns if the President of the Express ripped open his oxford button down to reveal, I dunno, an Oakland A’s t-shirt and then hit Ryan over the head with a folding chair, wouldn’t it?

The Mariners have made an offer to bring back Hisashi Iwakuma

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Hisashi Iwakuma tells the Japan Times that the Mariners have made him an offer to return.

Iwakuma became a free agent earlier this month after the Mariners, not surprisingly, declined his $10 million option for 2018. Iwakuma says that it’s “not a done deal,” but “hopefully I will be able to make a positive announcement soon.”

Iwakuma, who turns 37 early next season, made only six starts in 2017, posting a 4.35 ERA, 3.5 BB/9 and 4.6 SO/9 over 31 innings. He went on the disabled list in May and never returned to action, undergoing arthroscopic debridement surgery in September. He hopes to be recovered fully by spring training.