Yankees add superstar, acquire Seahawks QB Russell Wilson
The New York Yankees swung a deal on Wednesday to add an All-Star -- just one from a different sport.
The Yankees acquired the rights to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson from the Texas Rangers in exchange for future considerations, the two MLB teams announced.
The Yankees assigned Wilson to Double-A Trenton's roster.
Wilson was taken by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB draft. He ended his short baseball career after the 2011 season to focus on becoming a quarterback in the NFL, and the Rangers acquired his rights in the 2013 Rule 5 draft.
"Always said we'd be a Yankee Pops!," Wilson said in a tweet following the announcement.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels and Yankees GM Brian Cashman have been working for weeks to accommodate Wilson's desire to be a Yankee, according to a report from ESPN.
"We've admired Russell's career from afar for quite some time," Cashman said in a statement. "This is a unique opportunity for us to learn from an extraordinary athlete who has reached the pinnacle of his profession.
"After talking to a number of our players, there is a genuine excitement in having Russell join us for a short time in camp. We are all looking forward to gaining insight into how he leads teammates toward a common goal, prepares on a daily basis for the rigors of his sport, and navigates the successes and failures of a season."
Wilson is expected to appear at the Yankees' major league spring training camp in Tampa, Fla., sometime in March, but has no plans to try his hand at being a two-sport athlete similar to Bo Jackson or Deion Sanders, according to ESPN.
Instead, he'll participate in pregame workouts with the club and watch games from the Yankees' dugout.
Wilson released a statement thanking the Rangers for his time in the organization.
"I want to personally thank the Texas Rangers for giving me the chance to experience professional baseball again," Wilson said. "Growing up taking grounders, hitting BP, and throwing deep post routes early in the mornings with my dad and brother is where my love of sports came from, and those memories stick with me every morning I wake up. I remember how excited I was when Texas selected me in the Rule 5 Draft in December 2013. During my two springs in Arizona with the Rangers, I was reminded just how much I love the game of baseball.
"While football is my passion and my livelihood, baseball remains a huge part of where I came from and who I am today. I've learned so much on the baseball field that translates to my game physically and mentally playing quarterback in the NFL. I thank the Rangers and their great fans for making me feel at home and a part of the family! While I embrace the chance to be a New York Yankee, I will forever be grateful to have been a part of a world class organization like the Texas Rangers."
Wilson, 29, is coming off his fourth Pro Bowl season in the NFL. He led the Seahawks to a Super Bowl championship in 2014.
Wilson hit .229 with five home runs, 19 stolen bases and 26 RBIs in the two seasons he took the field as a Rockies minor leaguer. He is listed as a second baseman by MLB.com.