The Seattle Mariners Should Trade for Russell Wilson


Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President and General Manager Jerry Dipoto has completely overhauled the roster and will continue to shape it going forward.  So why not trade for current Minor League Texas Rangers Second Baseman and Seattle Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson?

Most of you have started reading this thinking that this writer has completely fallen off his rocker.  Understandably so, but let’s keep an open mind and look at the facts.  After you read the article you are welcome to come to your own conclusions.

Mar 28, 2015; Surprise, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson practices with the Texas Rangers on the practice fields at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Wilson has said that he would like to be traded to the Seattle Mariners.  Granted, it was on the Jimmy Kimmel show but Wilson is not joking.  He has maintained in every interview regarding this subject, that his first love is baseball and that he wants to be a two sport athlete.  It’s his childhood dream.  In selecting where to go to college, he committed to NC State because they allowed him to pursue playing both football and baseball.

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He was drafted into the Major Leagues twice.  Once in the 41st round in 2007 by the Baltimore Orioles.  Then he was selected again in the fourth round of the 2010 draft by the Colorado Rockies.  The Baltimore pick was a very low selection, but when an organization uses a fourth round pick they are not kidding around.  The Rockies saw Major League talent and intangibles in Russell Wilson that translate to the bigs.  He played two Minor League seasons for the Rockies.  One in Pasco, Washington for the single A Tri-Cities DustDevils and another for the single A Asheville Tourists in Asheville, North Carolina.

Statistics don’t show it but the potential is there and real.  In his brief Minor League career (two seasons) he slashed .229/.354/.356 while smashing 5 home runs and 19 stolen bases.  His contact rate was pretty low at 62% and his batting average was not impressive either.  Let’s just say that those statistics do not fit what the current GM looks for.  Keep in mind that he has only had 315 official at bats and that’s a very small sample size.  The offensive parts of Wilson’s game that fits the philosophy is Wilson’s on base percentage of .354 and his speed.  Those alone should be enough potential to give him a shot.  Russell’s defensive statistics are very good for single A.  He has a .983 fielding percentage and has helped turn 60 double plays.  With these statistics the 27 year old should be given a chance to attain his dream.

Richard Durrett of ESPN writes that Wilson’s manager doesn’t believe that he failed at the minor league level.

"“It’s unfair to say he didn’t make it,” said Joe Mikulik, who managed Wilson in Asheville three years ago and is now the Rangers’ Class A Myrtle Beach manager. “It was his choice to move on to something else. I would never say he failed. I saw him succeed. He succeeded regardless of his numbers. From where he started to where he was at when he made the decision to go to Wisconsin, I felt like he was improving and he was on his way to being a better player. Who knows? He just didn’t have many at-bats.”"

The most important qualities are the ones that do not show up in statistics.  It’s that the 5-foot-11 Richmond, Virginia product has the insatiable desire to succeed at anything he puts his mind and body to.  He is relentless in his pursuit of excellence and is a student of the game.  His leadership qualities are off the charts.  We know as much because he transferred from NC State to Wisconsin his senior year, earned the starting quarterback job and led them to a Rose Bowl.  Then after being drafted by the Seahawks he earned the starting quarterback job during the preseason of his rookie year and has led them to the playoffs each of his first 3 seasons and to the Super Bowl twice.

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Mar 28, 2015; Surprise, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson signs autographs for fans while practicing with the Texas Rangers on the practice fields at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

He can be a two sport athlete.  It’s been done before.  Both Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson did it so there is precedence.  It would take some work and some compromises from the Seahawks and Mariners, but it can be done.  The hardest part would be that he is the quarterback.  It’s important for the team that he attend the camps and practices for repetition and timing.  Wilson did it in college.  While at NC State he played both baseball and football.  He chose NC State because they allowed him to do both sports.  While most NFL coaching staffs would scoff at the idea, it is easy to believe that Pete Carroll would be supportive of it.  Pete Carroll wants each one of his coaches and players to find success in all their endeavors as you have seen in the past with his assistant coaches leaving for other head coaching opportunities and also promoting coaches from within.  Making Russell Wilson happy not just monetarily, but allowing him to pursue baseball would be right along those lines.  It would also give the Seahawks a lot of publicity in the offseason.  Also, with the Tacoma Rainiers AAA club for the Seattle Mariners being a short drive from Seattle, it is not unrealistic to see Russell Wilson working on both football and baseball during the summers.

Is it worth it for Dipoto to trade for Russell Wilson? In December of 2013 in the Minor League portion of the Rule 5 draft, the Texas Rangers made waves by selecting Russell Wilson from the Colorado Rockies.  They paid the Rockies $12,000 for this and he has since gone to Spring Training to work out with the Texas Rangers and speak to the players.  Since the Mariners didn’t grab him in the Rule 5 draft this year they should trade for him.  Even if Russell Wilson doesn’t make it to the Major League club, Russell Wilson Seattle Mariner jersey sales would be off the charts.  Not to mention attendance to Tacoma Rainiers games.  The best part is that it would not be a gimmick.  The Seahawks would have to work something out with Russell Wilson.   The example he would set as a professional to the other Minor Leaguers in the Mariners organization alone would be immeasurable.  Russell Wilson would be relentless in his work ethic and attention to both sports.  If anyone can schedule it, get it done, and be successful at both it’s Russell Wilson.  He is a legitimate prospect and it would benefit both the Seahawks and the Mariners for this trade to happen and to explore this.  Russell Wilson has proven doubters wrong every time they have doubted him, so go ahead and doubt it, he has no issues with that.  But if the Mariners were to pull this off, you might just see the first Major League two sport athlete in Seattle sports history and potentially the only athlete since Deion Sanders to play in a World Series and Super Bowl.  It would be awesome to hear the Super Bowl winning quarterback also say, Go Mariners at the end of his post game interviews.