When Sandy Alderson initially was asked one month ago about whether the New York Mets would consider signing Tim Tebow, the general manager joked: “Are you insinuating we need a Hail Mary at this point?”
Still, Alderson was intrigued with the novelty of Tebow. And the Mets ultimately announced the signing of the former Jets and Broncos quarterback to a minor league contract on Thursday. He will participate in the organization’s fall instructional league in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Whether the 29-year-old Tebow, now an outfielder, ever reaches the big league club probably is immaterial to the organization. The opportunity alone for the Mets to plaster their brand everywhere as Tebow generates national attention for his baseball pursuit will be worthwhile to the Mets. And let’s just say the Mets should see a nice bounce in terms of attendance at their spring training facility as well as if Tebow ultimately is assigned to a minor league affiliate the Mets own, such as the Class-A Florida State League club based in Port St. Lucie.
Steering Tebow toward the Mets is logical for his representatives at Creative Artists Agency as well. CAA also represent Mets aces Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom, and had a hand in negotiating Yoenis Cespedes‘ contract with the Mets. So there should be benefits for all of their Mets clients in terms of exposure.
How long are the odds Tebow ever plays at Citi Field? Pretty long, although it is not impossible if he is dedicated and applies himself for multiple seasons, given his athleticism. Michael Jordan in his lone season with the Chicago White Sox hit .202 with three homers and 51 RBIs in 436 at-bats with Double-A Birmingham. Would he have ever received a cup of coffee in the majors had he not returned to the NBA?
The Mets did go the pure showman route back in 2000, when they invited entertainer Garth Brooks to Mets camp. He went 0-for-17 in what was deemed mostly a charitable endeavor.
The Tebow signing is more of a hybrid — some baseball legitimacy, with a lot of upside benefit based on the novelty.