a fun publicity stunt and lucrative merchandising opportunity has taken a more serious and perhaps even ridiculous turn. The Texas Rangers, who selected Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft last season after he was left unprotected by the Colorado Rockies, are reportedly willing to go to whatever lengths are necessary to make sure they too don’t lose the Super Bowl winning signal-caller.What started out as
According to multiple reports, including one from Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal, the Rangers will protect Wilson’s spot in their organization by placing him on their Triple-A roster, which essentially guarantees teams will leave him alone in this year’s Rule 5 draft.
Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram explains why.
The selection would also come with a $50,000 fee.
Teams obviously don’t mind spending the money or sacrificing a big league roster spot on a Rule 5 eligible player with upside. However, nobody looking to remain employed at the highest level in baseball would do the same for a 26-year-old NFL quarterback who briefly played and didn’t exactly impress in A-ball, hitting just .229 in 93 games, and likely won’t ever make another serious run at a baseball career. The very thought of it is asinine, so the Rangers will accomplish their unnecessary goal.
For the record, had the Rangers not promoted Wilson to Triple-A, another team could have picked him up for a mere $12,500, put him on a minor league roster and started printing up shirts and jerseys like the Rangers did last winter.
That’s essentially all they’re protecting here. Another team selecting him within those parameters was probably a long shot as well, but the Rangers weren’t going to take that risk.
Wilson’s appearance last spring consisted of fielding ground balls, speaking to Rangers players and taking pictures with fans. There’s nothing wrong with that, obviously, but it figures to lose its luster the second time. That’s assuming Wilson even accepts the invitation.
It seems like such an odd thing to get caught up in or bother worrying about. Rosenthal says he sees it as a sign of respect within the organization, which no doubt plays some part in it. It won’t have a real impact on construction of the MLB roster either, since Wilson isn’t going on the 40-man roster. But it seems like there should be other pressing matters worth focusing on.
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