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On Wednesday, the New York Yankees made a ceremonial move involving a big name that will ultimately make zero difference in either the upcoming MLB or NFL season. That move involved them making a deal for Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, whose baseball rights had previously belonged to the Texas Rangers.
While there's no chance of Wilson actually suiting up for New York during the regular season, he is expected to appear at some point during the team's spring training in either February or March. According to ESPN, Wilson will not follow in the footsteps of former two-sport stars, which none of us really expected anyway. However, Wilson maintains that he still loves the sport of baseball (he was actually taken by the Rockies in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB draft, and played two years in the pros) and would like to maintain his ties to it.
Wilson apparently had a long-held desire to play for the Bronx Bombers, and Wednesday's transaction was the product of several weeks of work behind the scenes.
"We've admired Russell's career from afar for quite some time," said Yankees GM Brian Cashman in a statement. "This is a unique opportunity for us to learn from an extraordinary athlete who has reached the pinnacle of his profession.
"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."
Wilson also responded to the development from his Twitter account:
Plus he released a statement that is fairly lengthy considering how ultimately inconsequential this all is. In that statement he said:
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.
According to the Yankees, Wilson will be assigned to the Double-A Trenton Thunder roster.