The New York Yankees just get all the stars. Apparently not content with their baseball-rocking acquisition of former Miami Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees reached an agreement with the Texans Rangers to acquire Russell Wilson, according to a report from ESPN.com.
Apparently, the Rangers have been aware of Wilson's longtime desire to play for the Yankees, and the deal has been in the works for weeks. The Rangers acquired future considerations in exchange for Wilson's services.
Wilson released a statement thanking the Rangers organization:
"I want to personally thank the Texas Rangers for giving me the chance to experience professional baseball again. 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."
Per ESPN, Wilson "is expected to appear at the Yankees' Grapefruit League camp in Tampa, Florida, sometime in February or March." He does not seem likely to make the Yankees' opening day roster.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman called it a "unique opportunity for us to learn from an extraordinary athlete."
"We've admired Russell's career from afar for quite some time," Cashman said. "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."
Of course, Wilson has no plans to actually become a full-time two-sport professional athlete. He is going to remain the quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks, and that's it. He'll do his appearance at spring training, take some batting practice and some photos, and then get back to work. For what it's worth, Wilson hit .228 with five home runs in 315 short-season minor league at-bats during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
Originally selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 41st round (1,222nd overall) of the 2007 MLB draft, Wilson elected to go to college and play both football and baseball instead. He was drafted again by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round (140th pick overall) of the 2010 MLB draft and subsequently played short-season ball in 2010 and 2011 before informing the Rockies that he would instead become a professional football player. The Rangers acquired him from Colorado in the Rule-5 draft in 2013, and allowed Wilson to attend spring training in 2014 and 2015.