Does Tim Tebow deserve to play in the MLB some day? Mets GM says yes

Mets GM Sandy Alderson thinks Tim Tebow will play in the major leagues. Whether he deserves to is another question.

According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson believes Tim Tebow will reach the big leagues at some point. Tebow, of course, was a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback for the Florida Gators and briefly played in the NFL.

After expressing interest in playing baseball shortly after his football career came to an end, Tebow signed a minor league contract with the Mets late in 2016. Prior to his deal with New York, Tebow hadn’t played baseball since his junior year of high school, marking more than a decade-long absence from the sport.

No one really ever expected Tebow to make it all the way to the majors. He turned 30 last August. In the big leagues, you call a 30-year-old a veteran. In the minors, you call them a bust. But Tebow’s case is a bit different. Since signing him, ticket sales for minor league teams have apparently skyrocketed. It’s hard not to speculate that’s the primary reason why he was signed in the first place.

Last season, between High-A St. Lucie and Single-A Columbus, Tebow slashed .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and 52 RBI in 486 plate appearances. Those numbers are less than mediocre. In fact, they’re just bad. Any other 30-year-old putting up those kinds of numbers in the minors would have a pretty high chance of being let go. But since Tebow is more of an attraction, he’s in the running to make the major league squad. He’s an asset, but not in the sense that he’ll help a team win games. His most important role, it seems, is to help the Mets’ minor league organizations make more money. And he’s certainly done that so far.

Whether or not the Mets succeed in 2018 mostly hinges on their rotation. And as things stand right now, they are not expected to be a winning team. Tebow has not played well enough in the minors to help even those teams win, so you’d be hard-pressed to make a compelling argument that he’d somehow help the major league team in any capacity.

The cold, hard truth of the matter is Tebow is probably only in the position he’s in for media attention and ticket sales. He seems like a very nice guy, and the charitable work he’s done and continues to do is admirable and worth commending.

But the reality is a major league roster spot for Tim Tebow means someone more deserving will not be getting that spot. Is that really fair? Unless he shows substantial and unprecedented improvement this year, it’s hard to see Tebow really deserving a place with the New York Mets.