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Added September 12th, 2016 by Ian

New York Mets sign former NFL player Tim Tebow to Minor League deal

Former NFL quarterback and 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow was signed to a minor league contract by the New York Mets of Major League Baseball (MLB) on September 8th. The 29-year-old will kick off his pro baseball career in Port St. Lucie, Florida on Sept. 19th where he’s been assigned to the fall instructional league. According to Sandy Alderson, the Mets’ general manager, the signing was based on Tebow’s baseball potential rather than as a publicity stunt. Tebow’s contract details weren’t released, but it’s been confirmed that he’ll be paid a signing bonus of $100,000.

Some fans and baseball insiders feel the signing is nothing more than a New York sideshow while others believe the athlete should be given legitimate chance to show what he can do on the diamond. Alderson insisted the Mets will give Tebow the opportunity he needs to develop his raw baseball skills. The football player last played organized baseball back in Florida during high school in 2005 and was quite successful at the sport at the time. Tebow recently held a workout for the benefit of all 30 MLB teams and scouts from 28 clubs showed up to check him out.

Some of those in attendance said the two-hour event was nothing more than a waste of time, but others felt Tebow has the potential to succeed in baseball. Tebow will receive some special treatment though as he’ll be given a couple of days off each week from the instructional league so he can keep his job with the ESPN network as an analyst for college football. The former quarterback played from 2010 to 2012 with the Denver Broncos and New York Jets and then tried out with the New England Patriots in 2013 and the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015 looking for a job. He’s landed the gig with ESPN in 2013.

Critics have questioned Tebow’s commitment to baseball after learning he’ll be missing a couple of days of instruction to take care of his television work. The instructional league is typically for teenaged prospects and if Tebow succeeds there he may be assigned to a winter league or the Arizona Fall League. Alderson believes Tebow’s determination, character, and work ethic will benefit the Mets’ minor leaguers and this will make his signing a success even if he never reaches the big leagues.

Alderson went on to remark to the media, “In terms of power, in terms of arm, in terms of foot speed, all of those things, we think Tim can be a baseball player. I think that is underscored by his competitiveness and his determination to succeed and to improve. From our standpoint, this is another opportunity for us to develop a player and see where it goes even though we understand most players don’t make it to the major leagues.”

 
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