The Texas Rangers have a history of taking fliers on draft picks who have a brighter future elsewhere, with former Texas running back Ricky Williams and current Heisman favorite Jameis Winston immediately coming to mind.
In the minor-league portion of the Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings, the Rangers selected current Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who was part of the Colorado Rockies organization, where he played in the minor leagues in 2010 and 2011 before his rookie season with the Seahawks in 2012.
The middle infielder hit .229 with five home runs and 26 RBIs in those two seasons, spanning 93 games. In 2011, at Class-A Asheville, he was 15-for-17 on steal attempts. Of course, he's more known for his exploits on the football field, where he's thrown for 2,871 yards, 23 touchdowns and just seven interceptions this season after a stellar rookie year in 2012.
"At the end of the day, he obviously has a lot bigger things that he's working on right now," Rangers assistant general manager A.J. Preller said, "and we don't want to interrupt with that aspect of it. But if at some point down the road he decides he wants to do baseball again, we felt like it would be a positive to have him with us."
According to Rangers PR man John Blake, GM Jon Daniels said Wilson will report to Triple-A Round Rock for spring training and serve in a motivational speaking role, and apparently Wilson is pretty fired up about that.
The $12,000 fee the Rangers will have to pay the Rockies is then a worthy investment.
"You see him playing on Sunday. You hear about the work ethic, the person," Preller said. "I think that's going to be a positive message for all of our players in our system."
So, he'll most likely never see a game in the Rangers organization, but it can never hurt in case football falls through somehow or he has an injury that prevents him from playing football anymore.