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December 12, 2013

Rangers select Seahawks star QB Russell Wilson in Rule 5 draft

The Rangers made their winter meetings splash Thursday morning, selecting Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in the Triple A portion of the Rule 5 draft.

Assistant general manager A.J. Preller said that the Rangers do not expect him to give up his football career to be a minor-league second baseman again. But they are going to reach out to him, trying to not be a distraction, to see if he would have any interest in playing baseball again or possibly coming to spring training and speaking to their minor leaguers.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said that he spoke with Wilson shortly after the pick. Wilson, was already working out in Seattle, between 6 and 7 a.m.

"He was excited," Daniels said. "He wants to come to camp."

Preller said that the Rangers love Wilson's makeup, work ethic and professionalism, and want the Rangers' prospects to see it first-hand and emulate it.

"From a baseball standpoint, we feel like if he ever decided he wanted to come back to play again that he'd be a guy we'd want in our system," Preller said. "The biggest thing that intrigued us on Russell from afar is the makeup, the way he goes about his business, the professionalism, the competitor, the message we try to preach throughout our organization, for us to at least have that as part of our organization.

"At the end of the day, he obviously has a lot bigger things that he's working on right now, and we don't want to interrupt that aspect of it. But if at some point down the road he decides he wants to do baseball again, we decided it would be a positive to have him with us."

Wilson had been in the Colorado organization on their inactive list. He was their fourth-round pick in the 2010 draft, and he compiled a .229 average with five homers in 93 games over parts of two minor-league seasons.

The Rangers scouted him in high school and while he played at North Carolina State.

-- Jeff Wilson

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