Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson, who will compete for the starting job this fall and has two years of eligibility remaining, has reportedly signed a 2019 contract with the Texas Rangers.
Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reported Tuesday on Twitter that Patterson signed to play with the Rangers once he completes his college football career. The Rangers will hold Patterson's rights for six years as a minor-leaguer.
Whatever the Rangers paid to get Patterson’s signature was not disclosed, but the average compensation for a 39th-round pick is well beneath $10,000.
The Rangers will have no power over Patterson during his football experience at Michigan. Patterson’s situation is akin to when the Tigers drafted and signed Kirk Gibson in 1978.
Gibson got a jump-start on his minor-league career after he was drafted in June and spent the summer at Single-A Lakeland ahead of his senior season of football that autumn at MSU.
Patterson will be free to concentrate on football at Ann Arbor ahead of any foray with the Rangers in 2019.
Any call to the big leagues, should it eventuate, begins a separate six-year timeline.
Patterson, who transferred to Michigan from Ole Miss last December and endured a lengthy process to get cleared for immediate eligibility by the NCAA, was selected by the Rangers in the 39th round as the No. 1,169 selection of last month's Major League Baseball Draft.
He is listed as a third baseman from Michigan, although he hasn’t played for the Wolverines, nor did he play at Ole Miss.
In fact, Patterson has not played baseball since his junior year in high school. He did not play his senior year at IMG Academy where he was enrolled one year. Patterson did have a pre-draft workout with the Rangers.
And, no, he won't be playing baseball at Michigan next spring.
After Patterson was drafted in the second-to-last round of the three-day draft, Michigan’s football and baseball Twitter accounts had some fun. The baseball account tweeted a baseball and football emoji with a question mark and a link to the MLB Draft. Michigan’s football account responded: “Shea Patterson has been selected in the #MLBDraft. But we know he’ll be with us this season.”
Michigan baseball coach Erik Bakich joked in a text message at the time to The News that he would be including the Patterson pick on his resume.
“Of course,” he wrote. “Recruits need to know we're even developing football players into MLB Draft picks. LOL!"
Detroit News staff writer Lynn Henning contributed