Jay Bruce doesn't seem thrilled about Mets signing Tim Tebow

·Yahoo Sports Contributor

The Tim Tebow sweepstakes came to an abrupt end on Thursday when the New York Mets signed the former NCAA and NFL quarterback to a minor-league contract.

The fact that Tebow signed was not at all surprising. Given that 28 teams attended his showcase, we knew someone would take the leap fully believing Tebow offered some degree of upside. What we’re all anxious to learn now is whether or not that upside relates to actual baseball or just comes in the form of business and marketing opportunities.

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Now knowing that Tebow’s contract included a huge $100,000 signing bonus, it’s safe to say his upside — baseball and/or business wise — is believed to be immense. Still, that doesn’t mean everyone or anyone for that matter agrees with general manager Sandy Alderson’s decision to ink Tebow.

One person who clearly isn’t overwhelmed is also a relatively new member of the Mets organization. That would be outfielder Jay Bruce, whose services were acquired from the Cincinnati Reds at the trade deadline. Speaking to the media before Friday’s game in Atlanta, Bruce didn’t seem all that thrilled to even be asked about the subject.

Jay Bruce (left) of the Mets isn't all that excited about Tim Tebow's (right) venture into baseball. (AP photos)
Jay Bruce (left) of the Mets isn’t all that excited about Tim Tebow’s (right) venture into baseball. (AP photos)

From ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin:

Jay Bruce was not particularly on board with Tebow-mania. “I don’t particularly care. Nothing against or for him. He’s become a number at this point,” Bruce said Friday at Atlanta. “There are a lot of other guys there working and trying to get to the major leagues. Now he will be as well, and we’ll see what happens.”

It’s too early to call it a distraction, but it’s also only the beginning of what’s certain to be a media circus.

Of course, not helping matters is the amount of money that was invested in Tebow. Understandably, his signing bonus has caused some people to scratch their heads. Leading that charge are a host of actual minor league players who feel as if their commitment, value and ultimately their opportunities, have been compromised to accommodate a high-priced sideshow.

Here’s a sampling.

On top of that, Tebow will be allowed to continue his broadcasting gig at the expense of weekend workouts in the Mets Instructional League.

If the money was strike one in baseball circles, the questionable level of commitment is strike two.

That means Tebow is starting in an 0-2 hole before he’s even seen a pitch in an actual game. Tebow has persevered and succeeded under the microscope before, but this will be quite a hill to climb just to earn respect of his new peers.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!