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Rangers trade NFL star Wilson to Yankees

Former Cy Young winner Gagne named Arizona League pitching coach
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have traded the rights to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to the Yankees for future considerations.

It is largely a ceremonial move as Wilson is not giving up his football career. He was a part of the Rangers organization since being taken in the Minor League phase of the 2013 Rule 5 Draft, but never played for them. Wilson, who played two years in the Rockies system as an infielder, made two Spring Training appearances for the Rangers in 2014-15.

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have traded the rights to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to the Yankees for future considerations.

It is largely a ceremonial move as Wilson is not giving up his football career. He was a part of the Rangers organization since being taken in the Minor League phase of the 2013 Rule 5 Draft, but never played for them. Wilson, who played two years in the Rockies system as an infielder, made two Spring Training appearances for the Rangers in 2014-15.

Wilson issued a statement regarding his departure from the Rangers:

"I want to personally thank the Texas Rangers for giving me the chance to experience professional baseball again. Growing up taking grounders, hitting BP, and throwing deep post routes early in the mornings with my dad and brother is where my love of sports came from, and those memories stick with me every morning I wake up. I remember how excited I was when Texas selected me in the Rule 5 Draft in December 2013. During my two springs in Arizona with the Rangers, I was reminded just how much I love the game of baseball.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

"While football is my passion and my livelihood, baseball remains a huge part of where I came from and who I am today. I've learned so much on the baseball field that translates to my game physically and mentally playing quarterback in the NFL. I thank the Rangers and their great fans for making me feel at home and a part of the family! While I embrace the chance to be a New York Yankee, I will forever be grateful to have been a part of a world-class organization like the Texas Rangers."

Tweet from @Rangers: A statement from @DangeRussWilson: pic.twitter.com/fthh0MGOTX

Wilson has been transferred from the roster of Triple-A Round Rock to Double-A Trenton in the Yankees system.

Rangers hire Gagne

Former Cy Young Award winner Eric Gagne has been hired by the Rangers to be their pitching coach for the Rookie-level Arizona League Rangers. It will be his first full-time coaching job.

Gagne has been a guest instructor for the Dodgers in Spring Training and he was the pitching coach for France in 2012 during qualifying games for the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Gagne spent 10 years in the big leagues, winning the Cy Young Award for the Dodgers in 2003. He pitched with the Rangers in 2007 before being traded to the Red Sox in a July 31 deal that brought back David Murphy.

He last pitched in the big leagues for the Brewers in 2008. He made token appearances in independent leagues the past three years.

Former GM hired as scout

The Rangers have hired former Major League general manager Randy Smith as a scout with an emphasis on the Pacific Rim.

Smith is the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters' senior advisor to the general manager and also serves as their director of Major League scouting. The Rangers and the Fighters recently entered into a working agreement.

Smith was the general manager of the Padres in 1993-95 and the Tigers in 1996-2001. He was Baseball America's Executive of the Year in 1997 and teamed up with Rangers general manager Doug Melvin in 1999 to complete the nine-player trade that sent Juan Gonzalez to Detroit.

Rangers beat

• The Rangers have also hired former Major League pitcher Alan Hargesheimer as a professional scout for the Pacific Rim. Hargesheimer, who pitched in the big leagues for the Giants, Cubs and Royals, has been a scout for 28 years. The last nine have been with Hokkaido.

• Former catcher Brett Hayes, who was with Triple-A Round Rock last year, has been hired as an advance scout. Hayes spent parts of seven seasons in the big leagues with the Marlins, Royals and Indians.

• Josiah Igono has been promoted to Major League director of peak performance. He held that role for the past two seasons in the Minor Leagues.

• Eric Fox has been hired from the Brewers as an assistant in player development and Andrew Koo has been hired as an analyst for baseball operations.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers, Russell Wilson