Remember when the Texas Rangers drafted Russell Wilson last year in the Rule 5 draft, then brought him into training camp as a motivational speaker? Well, apparently, the Rangers really really liked it: worried another team would copy them, they added Wilson to their Triple-A roster.
As a Double-A player -- "player" -- it would cost another team $12,500 to poach Wilson. Now a Triple-A "player," it will cost another team $50,000, and they'd have to keep Wilson on their Major League roster for an entire season.
You can protect a certain amount of players at the Triple-A level, and the Rangers have chosen to keep Wilson instead of somebody else. Considering how few players get taken anyway, it's a pretty small risk.
But the benefit they're getting is protecting a famous person who is on their roster to talk to other baseball players for one day a year, on the off chance that another team decided to pay money to have that same player fill the exact same role -- somehow seems even smaller than the miniscule risk they're taking.
We imagine the Rangers could get Russell Wilson or any number of other famous people to talk to them if they asked nicely or paid money. They probably don't need to keep Wilson on their AAA roster to make this happen.
Wilson is still listed on the roster of the Double-A Frisco Roughriders, but he'll get bumped up to the Round Rock Express. Meanwhile, we wonder if Johnny Manziel will report to the Padres.