(Reuters) – The Texas Rangers will add a player with a championship pedigree to their spring training roster on Monday with Super Bowl-champion quarterback Russell Wilson set to join the club in Surprise, Arizona.
However, do not expect to see the former minor league second baseman grab a bat and step to the plate in the preseason game against the Cleveland Indians at Surprise Stadium.
“The guy’s a Super Bowl champ,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said Thursday, according to ESPN.com when asked whether Seattle Seahawks quarterback Wilson might get an at-bat.
“You think they want him to come down here and get hurt? The guy hasn’t seen a pitch. I’m not running him up there.”
Wilson, whose Seahawks won Super Bowl 48 earlier this month, is expected to participate in the Rangers’ workout on Monday before suiting up for the game at Surprise Stadium.
The NFL title-winning quarterback was selected in the Rule 5 draft by the Rangers in December, but has not played baseball since 2011, when he was in Class A for the Colorado Rockies.
Wilson hit .228 with three homers, 15 RBIs, 40 runs scored and 15 stolen bases in 61 games that final season. He then went to the University of Wisconsin for his final collegiate season before being taken by the Seahawks in the NFL Draft.
Texas skipper Washington said the Rangers believe Wilson can impact his American League West team.
“Our intentions are to bring him in and see if there’s anything he can say that may help anyone around here that has on a baseball uniform,” Washington said.
“This guy is a winner. He has tremendous character. He has attitude and undoubtedly has a lot of commitment to what he does.”
The Rangers are striving to return to the World Series after back-to-back trips in 2010-2011 with some new faces on the club.
“The guy has had a lot of success and he has a championship attitude,” Washington said. “We’re going to give him a chance to talk to our young kids and see what happens.”
(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)