Posted on September 8, 2016 by Bryan Zarpentine
Former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow has signed a minor league contract with a Major League Baseball team, and it’s the New York Mets. The Mets announced Thursday morning on the team’s Twitter account that Tebow had been signed to a minor league deal. Tebow will take part in the team’s instructional league in St. Lucie, Florida later this month. Mets GM Sandy Alderson and Tebow’s agent Brodie Van Wagenen will hold a conference call Thursday morning.
According to reports, the Mets made the decision to sign Tebow on Wednesday. Alderson held a meeting with Mets co-owner Jeff Wilpon, who agreed with Alderson’s decision to sign the former Heisman Trophy winner.
The Mets being the team to sign Tebow is quite surprising. Alderson was non-committal when asked a few weeks ago if the team would be sending a scout to Tebow’s showcase in Los Angeles. Alderson eventually said that if the team’s scout who covers that area wanted to he attend, he was free to do so, but he maintained that the Mets signing Tebow would be unlikely. When asked about Tebow joining the Mets a few weeks ago, Alderson joked that reporters were implying the team needed a “Hail Mary.” Of course, that was when the Mets were struggling to stay above .500. New York is now the hottest team in baseball and tied for the second wild card spot in the National League.
Eight teams were reportedly interested in signing Tebow, and the early favorite appeared to be the Atlanta Braves. Earlier this week, Braves GM John Coppolella spoke openly about Atlanta’s interest in Tebow, adding that Tebow playing baseball, whether it was with the Braves or not, would be good for the game.
So, how does Tebow fit in with the Mets and their future? Well, the Mets have no shortage of left-hand hitting outfielders on their big league roster, including two young players in Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo who the Mets hope have a bright future with the club. However, New York’s farm system is currently lacking in noteworthy outfielders, especially left-handed hitters. Outside of Desmond Lindsay and Wuilmer Becerra, both right-handed hitters, the Mets have few notable outfielders in the minors. This should ensure Tebow has an opportunity to prove himself next season, no matter what level of the minors he’s assigned to play.
Meanwhile, Tebow is adamant that he is serious about attempting a career in professional baseball. “The goal would be to have a career in the big leagues,” he said after his showcase. “That’s the goal, right? And then the pursuit of it is to give everything you have and be the best you can and give everything. I want to be someone that pursues what I believe in and what I’m passionate about.”
Now that Tebow is officially getting a chance, he will report to instructional league with the Mets later this month, but what comes after is still unknown. Tebow reportedly has an offer to play winter ball in Venezuela, but it’s not yet known if he will take that opportunity. Presumably, he’ll play next season somewhere in the Mets minor league system, but where he goes from there remains to be seen and will depend on how well Tebow fares in his first taste of professional baseball.