New York Mets Rumors: Tim Tebow Signing Could Be More Than Just A Publicity Stunt For The Mets

The New York Mets are rumored to have big plans for Tim Tebow, suggesting that the surprising signing for the Heisman Trophy winner is more than just a bid for a bit of publicity and minor league ticket sales.

The Mets announced early on Thursday that they had signed Tebow to a minor-league deal, turning Tebow’s dream of transitioning to a career in baseball to a reality. The team will send Tebow to the Mets Instructional League in Port St. Lucie, Florida, NBC New York reported.

The signing came one week after the 29-year-old Tebow held a workout for about 50 scouts representing 28 MLB teams, where he drew mixed reviews. Scouts were impressed with his speed and strength, but Tebow struggled against live pitching and rated as a below-average arm for an outfielder.

There was some concern at the time that Tim Tebow’s plan to play baseball was a publicity stunt. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk noted that the entire workout was coordinated to get the maximum media exposure for Tebow.

“In the aftermath of the initial flurry of ‘news’ came the perfunctory, meaningless, publicity-seeking offers from minor league teams, one of which was passed along by Schefter on Twitter without mention of the obvious reality that this is the kind of crap minor-league teams always pull. After that, plenty of videos on have emerged regarding Tebow’s new endeavor, including one showing him repeatedly hitting a ball with a bat (but none actually showing where the ball goes).”

And it will be a long road for Tim Tebow if he ever plans to play in the majors. He has been out of professional sports for two years, with his last NFL action coming with the New York Jets as a backup quarterback. Tebow had preseason stints with the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles in the following years, but failed to make the final roster either time.

It’s been even longer since Tebow was on the baseball diamond. Though he was once a standout high school baseball player, Tebow gave it up in his junior year to focus on football.

“The second-hardest decision I ever made was giving up baseball to go to the University of Florida and play football,” Tebow said last week (via NBC New York). “There wasn’t a season that went by that it wasn’t something that I thought about. When I felt like I had this opportunity, I wanted to take it and pursue it with everything I had.”

Before he was signed by the New York Mets, Tim Tebow had also drawn interest from the Atlanta Braves. The team was reportedly interested in having Tebow play his way through their minor league system, which has teams scattered across Florida and Georgia, the same SEC territory where Tebow is still popular.

But while it will likely be a boost to ticket sales for the New York Mets, there are rumors that the Tim Tebow signing is far from a publicity stunt. Many followers see the move as a chance for the team to get what is essentially a free look at one of the top college athletes of the last decade. As CBS Sports writer Matt Snyder noted, the signing comes at no real cost to the Mets.

Basically, there’s no real risk from a baseball standpoint for the Mets here. They are simply seeing what they can get out of a 29-year-old athlete who has flashed some upside despite being very raw.

It will likely take quite a while to determine if the rumors pan out and the New York Mets have a real talent in Tim Tebow. The instructional league is as far from the majors as he can get, but at least Tebow now has the opportunity to prove he can play.

[Photo by Chris Carlson/AP Images]

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