TAMPA, Fla. – Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is set to join the New York Yankees’ spring training camp on Monday.
The Yankees acquired the one-time minor league infielder from the Texas Rangers on Feb. 7 for future considerations.
Wilson will spent a few days with the Yankees but won’t play in any games. He was assigned No. 73; his football jersey is No. 3, long retired by the Yankees for Babe Ruth.
“As a quarterback leadership, obviously, huge role for him,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Thursday. “He’s developed a reputation of being a tremendous leader. So, anytime we can get people like that around our guys, it’s something we welcome.”
The 29-year-old Wilson led the Seahawks to the 2014 Super Bowl championship, defeating the Denver Broncos 43-8. In six seasons, that include four Pro Bowl selections, he has a career record of 65-30-1.
“Look, I’m excited,” Boone said. “We’re talking about a high-caliber guy, a guy that’s won at the highest level. I know he loves baseball, was a Yankee fan growing up. So I know how excited first and foremost he is to come here and be around these guys.”
Wilson’s locker is next to newly acquired third baseman Brandon Drury, who grew up in Grants Pass, Oregon, and made the seven-hour drive to Seattle to watch Seahawks games.
“The guy’s a winner,” Drury said. “To pick a guy’s brain like that, I know he’s really smart. I’m excited getting to know him, for sure. I’m a big Russell Wilson fan, so it’s pretty cool.”
Wilson was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round of the 2010 amateur draft, and was acquired by Texas in the minor league phase of the 2013 winter meeting draft. He participated in Rangers’ spring training workouts in 2014 and ’15.
In 93 career minor league games between Rookie-level Tri-City (2010) and Class A Asheville (2011) in Colorado’s system, Wilson hit .229 with 19 stolen bases, five homers and 26RBIs. In his last 15 games with Asheville in 2011, Wilson hit .302, had five extra-base hits and nine RBIs.
Wilson will be assigned to Double-A Trenton.
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