The New York Yankees have reportedly acquired the rights to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
Yep, you read that correctly.
According to ESPN, the Texas Rangers traded the former Super Bowl champion to New York for future considerations. Wilson is expected to appear in the Yankees’ Grapefruit League camp at some point during February or March as part of Spring Training.
After having already walked away from baseball and carving a niche in the NFL, the Rangers acquired Wilson from the Colorado Rockies in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft. He attended spring training for the organization in 2014 and 2015.
Sources familiar with the situation told ESPN that the Pro Bowler doesn’t intend to become a two-sport athlete, but has maintained his love for baseball, wants to continue his ties to the game and has long expressed interest in playing for New York.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Rangers GM Jon Daniels reportedly spent “several weeks” working on a deal that would make that goal possible, according to the report.
“I want to personally thank the Texas Rangers for giving me the chance to experience professional baseball again,” Wilson said in an official statement. “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.”
Wilson, who had previously played quarterback at NC State, spent two years as a second baseman in the Colorado Rockies’ farm system after being drafted by the organization in the fourth-round of the 2010 MLB first-year draft. During two seasons, he recorded a .228 average with five home runs in 315 at-bats for Tri-City (Northwest League) and Ashville (South Atlantic).
After stepping away from baseball, the quarterback transferred to Wisconsin and started for the Badgers during his final season of college football eligibility.
Wilson went on to be selected in the third-round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Seahawks and led the team to its first Super Bowl in franchise history in 2013.