Russell Wilson, the starting quarterback on a Super Bowl-contending NFL team, was drafted by MLB’s Texas Rangers in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft.
According to Richard Durrett at ESPN.com, it cost the Rangers $12,000 to pick Wilson, who will go on Texas’ restricted list since he is already playing in the NFL.
This isn’t the first time Wilson has been selected by a MLB team.
NFL.com wrote that in 2007, the Baltimore Orioles selected Wilson out of high school, but he decided to instead attend North Carolina State. Three years later, the Colorado Rockies picked him up with a fourth-round pick. There, he spent two years as a second baseman before fully turning his attention to football.
Durrett noted that Wilson has “expressed a desire to come to spring training and work out.”
Rangers GM Jon Daniels said the Rangers have been looking at Wilson since he played in high school, via Durrett:
“We talk to our scouts about the makeup we want of our players and the work ethic it takes to win, and Russell Wilson has been an example of that,” Daniels said. “He has off-the-charts character and focus.”
However, Daniels assured Wilson that he didn’t want the pick to interrupt the focus that Wilson has on the Seahawks:
“At the end of the day, he obviously has a lot bigger things that he’s working on right now and we don’t want to interrupt that aspect of it, but if at some point down the road he decides he wants to do the baseball thing again, we felt like it would be a positive to have him with us.”
Wilson hit “a combined .229/.354/.356 with five homers and 19 steals in 93 games at two levels of A-ball”, according to Jay Jaffe on SI’s The Strike Zone.