Last month, New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen endorsed Tim Tebow.
Tebow had been brought in and promoted in the Mets minor league system under the regime of previous general manager Sandy Alderson, a move widely chided as a publicity stunt to cash in on the popularity of the Heisman Trophy-winning former quarterback.
But Van Wagenen — not a month into his new job — kept up the line, declining to rule out Tebow starting the season on the opening-day roster while calling it likely that he starts next season in Triple-A.
Van Wagenen: OF injury could lead to Tebow callup
On Wednesday, he doubled down, telling WFAN that Tebow could be an injury away from a promotion to Queens.
“If Tim Tebow’s the best offensive player in Triple-A at that point in time, he’s going to be in [manager Mickey Callaway’s] lineup,” Van Wagenen told WFAN.
Van Wagenen was Tebow’s agent
While Tebow’s rise through baseball’s ranks seems one of sports’ least likeliest stories, the latest should come as no surprise considering the players involved.
Van Wagenen is fresh on the scene as a baseball executive. His previous gig was as the co-head of baseball at the Creative Arts Agency, where he represented Tebow.
While he’s sitting on the other side of the table from Tebow now, Van Wagenen still seems of the belief that what’s good for Tebow is good for business.
Tebow’s been a surprise — but is he good enough?
Tebow has exceeded almost any reasonable expectation since making the shift from football to the broadcast booth to baseball. The 31-year-old hit .273/.336/.399 in 298 plate appearances at Double-A in 2018, respectable numbers that Michael Jordan would have coveted during his brief stint in the Chicago White Sox system in the 1990s.
He also tallied six home runs and 36 RBI in 84 games with Binghamton, making the Eastern League All-Star game before a broken hamate bone in July cut his season and any 2018 dreams of Major League Baseball short.
Those aren’t numbers that would warrant a look at any 31-year-old minor leaguer not named Tebow. But Tebow’s not just any other minor leaguer. And the Mets appear intent on getting every bit of value they can from him, whether or not that means success on the field.
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