The Yankees announced on Wednesday afternoon that they had acquired Russell Wilson from the Texas Rangers in exchange for future considerations. Wilson, a four-time NFL Pro-Bowl quarterback and Super Bowl XLVIII champion with the Seattle Seahawks, played two seasons of professional baseball as a second baseman in the Colorado Rockies organization after being selected in the fourth round of the 2010 draft.
“We’ve admired Russell’s career from afar for quite some time,” Yankees General Manager Brian 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.”
Cashman added, “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.”
In two seasons of pro-ball, Wilson hit a combined .229 in 93 career games in stops with Tri-City of the Northwest League and Asheville of the South Atlantic League between 2010 and 2011. Wilson informed the Rockies that he was leaving the sport in order to pursue a career on the gridiron. The rest is history.
Texas selected Wilson in the Rule-5 draft in 2013 and twice made appearances at Rangers spring training in 2014 and 2015. The 29-year old quarterback is expected to appear at Yankees spring training in Tampa to work out with the team at some point in March.
“I want to personally thank the Texas Rangers and Jon Daniels for drafting me and giving me the chance to experience professional baseball again,” Wilson said via a statement on Wednesday. “Growing up taking grounders, hitting BP, and throwing deep post routes in football early in the mornings at 6 a.m. with my dad and brother is where my love of sports came from and those memories stick with me every morning I wake up. During my two springs with the Rangers, I was reminded just how much I love the game.”
Wilson added, “While football is my passion and my livelihood, baseball remains a huge part of where I came from and who I am today,” Wilson added. “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 be a part of a world-class organization like the Texas Rangers.”
Following the move, Wilson was officially placed on the Trenton roster.