In a gutsy off-season move, the Texas Rangers baseball franchise has drafted Russell Wilson, quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks football team. It’s a move sure to payoff in the Texas Rangers’ quest for… well, we’re not sure what the Rangers were thinking in drafting Wilson, but we’re sure there was a point to it.
The Rangers nabbed the rights to Wilson in the MLB Rule 5 Draft, which is likely the first time you’ve ever heard that phrase. The draft breaks down this way, according to USA Today: teams like the Texas Rangers choose players who have spent at least four years in another team’s farm system without being added to its 40-man roster.
Russell Wilson was originally picked up in the fourth round (140th overall) of the 2010 MLB draft by the Colorado Rockies. He played second base for the Tri-City Dust Devils and the Asheville Tourists, both Single-A affiliate in the Rockies’ farm system between 2010 and 2011. Wilson owns a.228 batting average from his time with the Tourists, hitting three homers and 15 RBIs in 61 games, according to the Texas Rangers’ official announcement.
The Texas Rangers acquired Russell Wilson’s rights for $12,000, according to a tweet from Eric Fisher of SportsBusiness Journal.
MinorLeagueBall.com tells us the idea behind the Rule 5 draft is to prevent talented players from getting buried in the minor league system of an organization that doesn’t have room for them in the majors. Something tells us that wasn’t the Texas Rangers’ intent in drafting Russell Wilson, but since we’ve got no other explanation, that’ll have to do.
Fun fact: Former Texas Rangers right fielder Josh Hamilton was actually a Rule 5 draftee in 2006, picked up by the Chicago Cubs.
What do you think the Texas Rangers were trying to accomplish in drafting Russell Wilson? Does Texas really think he’ll leave football for baseball or is this some sort of publicity stunt? How about a Russell Wilson Bobblehead Night by the Rangers?
MLB #Rangers spent $12,000 to get rights to Russell Wilson. Made it all back and then some already just on value of marketing exposure
— Eric Fisher (@EricFisherSBJ) December 12, 2013