The San Diego Padres selected 2012 Heisman Trophy winning-quarterback Johnny Manziel in the 28th round of Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft on Saturday, but have no expectation of signing him.
Manziel’s selection with the 837th choice stems from a conversation he had with Padres general manager Josh Byrnes following a workout at Petco Park in January.
“Do you want us to draft you,” Byrnes recalled saying. “He said, ‘Yeah sure,’ so we did.”
On his Twitter account the former Texas A&M star wrote, “Big thank you to the Padres and (team President) Mike Dee for selecting me in the MLB draft. What a great day!”
Manziel attached a picture of himself wearing a blue Padres cap. He had joined the team for batting practice before its May 17, 2013, game against the Washington Nationals at Petco Park, hitting a home run.
Manziel hasn’t played baseball since he was an infielder at Tivy High School in Kerrville, Texas.
The player nicknamed Johnny Football was selected by the Cleveland Browns with the 22nd choice in last month’s NFL draft.
“(Johnny’s) football career is certainly the priority, but you never know,” Byrnes told reporters before tonight’s game against the Nationals at Petco Park. “It doesn’t hurt to sort of formalize the relationship and see what happens.”
The Padres have until July 15 to sign Manziel. If they do sign him, they would hold his baseball rights for six years.
Manziel is the eighth Heisman Trophy winner to be drafted by a Major League Baseball team. Bo Jackson, Chris Weinke and Ricky Williams all signed contracts, with Jackson being the only one to reach the major leagues.
— City News Service