Spring training is just a couple of weeks away, and the Texas Rangers have two guys who are creating a lot of buzz.
Ironically, one player just won a Super Bowl, and the other pitched against the club last year.
Per MLB.com, Tommy Hanson and the Rangers agreed to a deal worth $2 million on Monday. He will be at spring training and has a good chance of making the starting rotation. He pitched for the Angels last season, starting 13 games and posting a 5.42 ERA.
As for Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, there still isn’t a definitive answer. It isn’t as if he is going to trade rubber spikes for metal ones, but he has gotten support from Texas fans to show up.
Jeff Wilson explained the QB has the support from his newest agent:
On Russell Wilson, GM Jon Daniels says #Rangers have not reached out to QB/2B, but he has an open invitation to visit spring training.— Jeff Wilson (@JeffWilson_FWST) February 5, 2014
Then fans got the news they had been waiting for:
Although he is showing up, it doesn't look like he will be taking the field or making any plate appearances:
Russell Wilson's agent, Mark Rodgers, clarified that Wilson has no plans to actively participate in Rangers spring training.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) February 4, 2014
The High-A affiliate of the Rangers doesn't want to take no for an answer. The team is willing to donate to a charity of Wilson's choice in exchange for nine innings:
It was originally reported that Tommy Hanson had signed a minor league deal with the club. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman cleared it all up on Tuesday:
tommy hanson deal for $2M plus incentives with #rangers is a major-league deal. good chance he'll be the No. 5 starter.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) February 11, 2014
Some fans were not too pleased with the team's newest acquisition:
The rangers think Tommy Hanson will be their 5th starter. I just do not get it.— Joe Whelan (@Joe_Whe) February 11, 2014
The Rangers now have a legitimate starter to fill the void left by Derek Holland's knee surgery. Hanson's ERA has dipped every year since his rookie season in 2009. That could be the epicenter of the disgust shown by the Rangers faithful.
But he isn't going to be expensive. He could end up being a steal this offseason.
Wilson won't be donning a Rangers uniform during the 2014 regular season, but the club can still benefit from his presence in Surprise, Ariz. Not because he just won the Super Bowl but because he has leadership qualities. He is also going to provide plenty of traffic at any complex he shows up to in March.
It would be fun to see what Wilson could do after a few years off the diamond.