Rangers draft Seahawks QB Wilson in Rule 5 draft

John Perrotto, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ORLANDO, Fla. -- If Russell Wilson ever decides to give up his NFL career for a return to professional baseball -- and it's extremely doubtful he will -- the Seattle Seahawks' quarterback could be relocating to Texas.
The Rangers selected Wilson from the Colorado Rockies' organization with the 15th overall selection in the Triple-A phase of what was clearly the oddest move in the Rule 5 Draft that concluded the Winter Meetings on Thursday at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort.
Wilson, 25, spent the 2010-11 seasons as a second baseman in the lower levels of the Rockies' farm system, hitting just .229 in 93 games before turning his attention to college football at Wisconsin as a graduate student after playing three seasons at North Carolina State.
The Seahawks selected Wilson in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft and he doesn't seem headed back to baseball anytime soon. He led Seattle to the playoffs as a rookie last season and the Seahawks lead the NFC with an 11-2 record this season.
"Hey, you never know what might happen," Rangers professional scouting director Josh Boyd told The Sports Xchange. "He's a gifted athlete and it can't hurt to have him on one of our minor league (reserve lists)."
In Seattle, Wilson was awakened by an early-morning phone call from Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, who told him Texas acquired his baseball rights.
"It's a blessing for sure, but at the same time, obviously my focus is on football," Wilson told the Seattle media. "Mr. Daniels and I talked about that. Obviously he knew that."
Wilson does plan to have some involvement with the Rangers, even if it won't involve actual game action.
"I'm sure I'll go down there for spring training and just talk to some of their players and hangout with some of them," he said. "It'd be kind of a cool experience, but that's down the road."
Asked if he would attempt to emulate Bo Jackson, who starred in pro football and baseball, Wilson said, "I thought about it before, I'm not going to lie. But no. I mean I'm just focused on football."
While Wilson was the headliner of the Rule 5 draft's minor league phase, nine players, including seven pitchers, were selected in the major league phase. Those players must stay on the major league roster of their new teams throughout the 2014 season or be offered back to their original team for half the $50,000 draft price.
Left-hander Patrick Shuster was the first player selected, taken by the Houston Astros from the Arizona Diamondbacks then sent to the San Diego Padres as the player to be named to complete an earlier trade. He was 0-1 with a 1.83 ERA in 55 relief appearances with high Class A Visalia this year.
The Chicago White Sox chose catcher Adrian Nieto from the Washington Nationals. He batted .285 with 11 home runs with high Class A Potomac.
Right-hander Kevin Munson was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies from the Diamondbacks after going a combined 2-4 with 14 saves and a 4.12 ERA in 53 relief appearances with Triple-A Reno and Double-A Mobile.
The Rockies picked right-hander Tommy Kahnle from the New York Yankees. In 46 relief appearances with Double-A Trenton, he went 1-3 with 15 saves and a 2.85 ERA.
Left-handed reliever Kevin Moran was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays from the Seattle Mariners then traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for an international signing bonus slot. He was 2-5 with four saves and a 3.45 ERA in 48 games with Triple-A Tacoma.
The New York Mets took right-hander Seth Rosin from the Phillies, but traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Rosin went 9-6 with a 4.33 ERA in 26 games, including 23 starts, with Double-A Reading.
Left-hander Wei-Chung Wang was chosen by the Milwaukee Brewers from the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was 1-3 with a 3.23 ERA in 12 games, including 11 starts, for the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Pirates.
The Diamondbacks drafted right-hander Marcos Mateo from the Chicago Cubs after he went a combined 2-0 with one save and 1.74 ERA in 24 games with three farm clubs, topping out at Double-A Tennessee. The 29-year-old made a total of 44 major league relief appearances for the Cubs in the 2010-11 sesons before undergoing missing 2012 because of Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery.
Third baseman Michael Almanzar was picked by the Baltimore Orioles from the Boston Red Sox after hitting .268 with 16 home runs in 100 games with Double-A Portland.
Two players with major league experience were selected in the Triple-A phase as the White Sox chose left-handed reliever Evan Crawford from the Blue Jays and the Orioles drafted outfielder Julio Borbon from the Cubs. They are not under major league draft rules and can remain in the minor leagues all season without being returned to their original team.

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