New York Mets outfielder Tim Tebow wasn’t going to let COVID-19 end his baseball career. Tebow wasn’t able to continue his quest for the majors after the 2020 Minor League Baseball season was canceled, but he’ll be back in 2021.
Mets president Sandy Alderson confirmed Tebow would return to the team this season. Alderson said he didn’t want to see Tebow give up on his dream due to the pandemic, according to the New York Post.
“So I talked to Tim Saturday, in between Florida football and some other SEC [broadcasting] obligations,” Alderson said. “He’s anxious to come back. And I told Tim, ‘Look, why would you want to end your quest based on a COVID-related reason? You didn’t get a chance to perform this year.’ He was hurt a little bit the previous year. So I think Tim is committed to coming back. And I think we’re committed to giving him an opportunity to do that and we’ll see where it goes.
After spending three seasons in the NFL, Tebow decided to give baseball a shot. He was signed by the Mets in 2016, and has moved up through the team’s minor-league system. Tebow reached Triple-A briefly in 2019, and will likely begin 2021 at that level.
Does Tim Tebow deserve to make it to the majors?
Tebow’s performance in the minors hasn’t justified his aggressive promotions. In three seasons in the minors, Tebow has a .223/.299/.338 slash line. In his brief taste of Triple-A, Tebow hit .163 over 264 plate appearances. At 33, he’s far older than any prospect. If Tebow were a traditional player, he would be considered past his prime at this point in his career.
All of that seems to suggest that — without an extreme breakout — Tebow shouldn’t sniff the majors in 2021. The Mets, however, haven’t let Tebow’s struggles keep him down in the past, and could promote him to the majors in 2021 anyway. It would sell tickets and merchandise. In the past, Alderson admitted Tebow wasn’t signed strictly for baseball reasons.
That was the team’s strategy under its previous owners, though. Under Steve Cohen, the Mets may care less about the money Tebow would bring in.
If Tebow is hoping to one day make the majors, he’ll have to show on-field improvement soon. He’s not getting any younger, and it’s unclear how much longer Tebow wants to ride the bus with teenagers when he could make more money as a full-time broadcaster.
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