Reid Ryan, son of the legendary Nolan Ryan and an accomplished businessman in his own right, appears in line to replace George Postolos as Astros president, sources told CBSSports.com.
Ryan was first reported to be a "strong candidate" for the top Astros job by FOX 26 Sports in Houston, and people familiar with the situation say he is the likely successor to Postolos, who resigned this week after a short term as team president.
Ryan's iconic father previously had been speculated as a long-shot candidate in light of some issues he has had as CEO of the cross-state Rangers, but Nolan Ryan told his friend and Dallas radio host Randy Galloway in answer to whether he might take the Astros president job, "I don't think so. How's that? ... No, I'm sure they'll fill it with the right person."
Considering that job is now expected to go to his son, Nolan Ryan's answer seems interestingly coy now.
The Astros are not commenting on their vacant president's job.
Reid Ryan, an Astros batboy who has gone on to run the team's Double-A team, will be a popular choice, according to people with team connections. Ryan, 41, is CEO of Ryan Sanders Baseball Inc., which includes the Triple-A Round Rock Express and the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks.
"He's very bright and would be great in that role," said a person who has had dealings with the younger Ryan. "He's an out-front personality and good operator."
Postolos, meanwhile, who announced he was leaving to go back to his work as a consultant, had been "at odds" in recent months with new Astros owner Jim Crane, sources said. Much of the source of that friction was said to stem from the Astros' TV deal, which is currently in limbo.
Sources suggest Postolos, also a past Rockets president, was forced out, though the announcement was couched as only a resignation.
The current CSN TV arrangement, set up by the Astros and NBA Rockets, has been the source of bad publicity, as only 40 percent of Houston area homes are currently able to get the games. Crane has been expressing consternation over the TV plight since opening day.
"It's terrible for the fans. We really want to get these games on TV, and we're very concerned about it," Crane said in April. "We're working on it every day. It's not good. And we feel it'll get worked out relatively soon."
Postolos, who spent eight years with the Rockets and two more with the NBA commissioner's office, deserves some credit for helping Crane get the team after a relatively lengthy effort to do so. The pair was at it five years, Postolos said.
As far as the word that he and Crane were "at odds,'' Postolos said by phone, "I certainly haven't said that, and I wouldn't say that. I think he's doing great things. I think he's going to bring a World Series to Houson. He's one of the best operators in American business.''
Postolos said he will return to his specialty, which is in franchise acquisition, satisfied that the Astros are set up nicely for the future.Specifically, he mentioned that the farm system has made a "dramatic improvement,''and suggested he believes general manager Jeff Luhnow is the right one to lead the baseball operations department.
"I feel like the pueces are in place. I'm proud of the work we did together and think he's going to be successful,'' Postolos said of him and Crane. "I felt like it was a good time to go to (work) in the sports acquisition marketplace. It's a logical transition point.''