Yankees trade for the best quarterback in New York; here’s why

SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 03: Russell Wilson
SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 03: Russell Wilson /

In a move that would make the Jets and Giants jealous, the Yankees acquired Russell Wilson from the Rangers for future considerations. But why? Let me tell you.

Less than a week after the Philadelphia Eagles were crowned Super Bowl Champions, it’s the Yankees that made the first notable transaction of the NFL offseason.

On Wednesday, the Yanks acquired four-time Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson from the Rangers for future considerations.

Yes, you read that sentence correctly. The Bombers now hold the rights to the best QB in all of New York. Though Wilson isn’t expected to play in any Grapefruit League games, he will take part in practices and act as a mentor to many of the young players in camp.

General manager Brian Cashman told ESPN he had been working on a trade with Rangers’ GM Jon Daniels for some time.

"“We’ve admired Russell’s career from afar for quite some time,” Cashman said in a statement. “This is a unique opportunity for us to learn from an extraordinary athlete who has reached the pinnacle of his profession.”"

After two years of college baseball at North Carolina State, the Super Bowl XLVIII Champion was a fourth-round draft pick by the Rockies in 2010. Back then Baseball America ranked Wilson as the Rockies’ No. 19 prospect. Their initial scouting report was quite intriguing.

"Wilson has “game-changing speed” with “plus range, good hands and a solid arm” with a “fairly compact swing.”"

In 93 minor league games, Wilson hit a combined .229 with five home runs in 315 at-bats, doing little to reinforce his stock as a top prospect. The second baseman turned Gillette pitchman decided to focus on football in 2012 solely.

However, the Rangers still selected Wilson in the 2013 Rule 5 Draft, in hopes that some of his professional experience would rub off on their players. Wilson made cameo appearances in Arizona during the spring of 2014 & 15.

The question now, is why did the Yankees bother trading for Wilson?

More from Yanks Go Yard

For those that feel Wilson coming to Tampa is merely a publicity stunt, need I remind you that the Yanks acquired Giancarlo Stanton this winter. Packing the stands at George M. Steinbrenner Field in March won’t be a problem.

While I’m sure more than a few casual fans will buy tickets to catch their favorite QB taking BP, they better get to the stadium early, as the organization has already stated Wilson will watch game action from the dugout and nothing more.

I’m a little confused. If Garth Brooks was allowed to take rips against big league pitching, once for the Mets and another for the Padres, why not let a legitimate athlete take the field?

Understandably, the Seahawks probably don’t want to see the face of their franchise get plucked with a 95 mph fastball or take a one-hopper to the chops.

Look, it’s never a bad thing to be in the company of a winner. Wilson is an exemplary role model both on and off the field of play. With a celebrity wife and millions of adoring fans, this six-year NFL veteran is an ideal person for guys like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius to talk shop with.

If Wilson can help guide young men in their journies to balancing stardom, professional pressure and outside influences, then this trade will be worth its weight in gold.

On a phone call with MMQB, Wilson described Derek Jeter as his all-time favorite athlete and regaled us with his tale of watching “The Flip,” and what it meant to him as a young athlete.

If you’re still a doubting Thomas, hear this: Russell’s father, Harrison, was a lifelong Yankees fan. After his passing in 2010 due to complications from diabetes, Russ kept his baseball dream alive due in part to the memory of his dad.

"“The reason this is so special to me is that I used to always tell my dad I always wanted to be a Yankee. I said to him, ‘Someday, Dad, I will be a Yankee.’ And so now that dream has come true—a little bit.“I think he’s smiling from ear to ear,” Wilson said. “It was always something we talked about. He used to watch all the old Yankees and tell me stories. To be able put on the pinstripes, it’s pretty exciting. It’s going to give me chills.”"

I’m sorry, but if you can’t get behind this truth, then it may be time to check your pulse.

Next: Joe Girardi's new gig

Wilson will be assigned to the Yankees’ Double-A Trenton Thunder roster in advance of his arrival to Spring Training.