Yankees acquire QB Wilson, offer camp invite

Former Rockies, Rangers infielder to join New York in March

Russell Wilson went to Spring Training with the Texas Rangers in March 2014. He'll join the Yankees next month. (Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

By Danny Wild / MiLB.com | February 7, 2018 3:15 PM

Russell Wilson isn't quite done with baseball.

The veteran quarterback, Super Bowl champion and 2012 NFL Rookie of the Year was acquired by the New York Yankees on Wednesday in a deal with the Texas Rangers. The Rangers had previously claimed Wilson from Colorado and invited the infielder to Spring Training in 2014.

Wilson will join the Yankees next month but isn't expect to play in any Major League Spring Training games. He will be initially assigned to the Double-A Trenton roster.

"We have acquired INF [Russell Wilson] from the Rangers in exchange for future considerations," the Yankees tweeted on Wednesday. "Wilson is expected to be at camp in March."

Wilson, who just led the Seattle Seahawks to a 9-7 record and second-place finish in the NFC West, also released a statement about the move. 

"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. "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."

• Baseball still part of Seahawks' Wilson »

Wilson, 29, was a fourth-round pick in 2010 and played parts of two seasons in the Minors with the Rockies in 2010 and 2011 before focusing on his NFL career. While he'll join the Yankees and be a popular sight around camp in Tampa, the Seahawks' quarterback isn't likely to actually play for the Yankees in 2018.

"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."

Tweet from @DangeRussWilson: Thank you Texas...Hello New York.Always said we���d be a Yankee Pops! #MLB @Yankees https://t.co/aMnmL3SPsZ

Wilson hit .229 with five homers, 26 RBIs and 19 stolen bases in 93 career Minor League games between Rookie-level Tri-City and Class A Asheville. He went 72-for-315 and scored 58 runs.

"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."

While Wilson isn't likely to appear in a game, the stage would theoretically be set for an intriguing match-up on March 7 when Wilson's Yankees take on Tim Tebow and the Mets. Tebow, a former NFL quarterback, is entering his second season with the Mets and will attend camp as a non-roster invitee.

"After talking to a number of our players, there is a genuine excitement in having Russell join us for a short time in camp," Cashman said. "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."

Danny Wild is an editor for MiLB.com. Follow his MLBlog column, Minoring in Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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