Why Tim Tebow Makes Sense for the Mets
Because this is Tim Tebow, the Mets signing him is going to elicit a number of strong reactions from all across the spectrum. However, once the smoke from that clears, what you have left is Tebow in a Mets minor league uniform. Ultimately it is a decision that makes sense.
Marketing and Gates
During the press conference, Sandy Alderson said the Tebow signing was a purely baseball driven move. Keep in mind, the Mets say a lot of things that prove to be untrue like their insistence they were not going to bring Jose Reyes back after being released by the Colorado Rockies. There was also the time that Sandy called Cespedes a “square peg” in discussing why the Mets were not interested in re-signing Cespedes. Reyes and Cespedes are both wearing Mets jerseys.
The fact of the matter is that while you can argue signing Tebow makes sense from a baseball standpoint (more on that in a minute) his ability to generate revenue cannot be dismissed.
When Tebow signed with the Eagles, he had the 15th best selling NFL jersey. That was for a guy out of the NFL for a year, and who was unlikely to make the roster. Fact is, Tebow sells. He is going to attract fans to the ballpark. What may seem like peanuts to you or I is a major revenue boost to a minor league affiliate, some of which the Mets own themselves.
Remember, minor league teams do everything they can do to get you to the ballpark with whacky promotions and on field events between innings. They do everything they can do to get you there short of giving you a turn at bat. In a world where the Mets have alienated the Buffalo Bisons and were sent to AAA purgatory in Las Vegas, the Tebow signing matters.
It could also generate revenue for the Mets. There are going to be more than a fair share of people who are online right now ordering Tebow jerseys at MLB.com or at Citi Field.
There is also the opportunity for the Mets, if they so chose, to sell Tebow merchandise to generate additional revenue. There will be a fair share of Tebow fans who may very well purchase a Kingsport Mets or Brooklyn Cyclones Tebow jersey.
Overall, while no one can quite quantify what the revenue boost will be, it is inarguable that Tebow will boost revenues for the Mets organization.
Generally speaking, Tebow is the type of person you would want to have around younger players.
Throughout his life, Tebow has built up a reputation as a good and devoutly religious person. He played at Florida and in the NFL, and there was never a scandal or even a cross word about him. Rather, Tebow was able to keep his nose clean (Mets pun intended), and he built a reputation as not only a good person, but also as a well spoken person. It’s why when his NFL career was seemingly over, ESPN came calling to ask him to be a commentator.
This is the type of person you want around impressionable young players who are not only trying to find their way into the majors, but also their way in life. Keep in mind that as an organization, you never falter when you add good people as they can have a positive effect on the others around them. There are too many prospects that fail not because of talent, but because of attitude and them losing their way off the field. Hopefully, someone like Tebow can help that type of player find their way either by speaking with them or by leading by example.
There’s another factor to Tebow’s presence. The guy is a winner. In college, Tebow won two National Championships and a Heisman Trophy. In 2011, Tebow took over a 1-4 football team, and he helped them win the AFC West. In his divisional round, he led the Broncos to an overtime victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers throwing an 80 yard TD pass to Demaryius Thomas. Ultimately, that was it for Tebow’s NFL career as he didn’t have the talent to stay in the league. However, despite his lack of talent, he was a winner everywhere he went. This is an asset every team and organization wants around.
He’s Giving Exposure to Other Teammates
One of the biggest fallacies surround Tebow’s signing is that he is going to cost another player a shot at playing in the majors. This simply isn’t true. Minor league rosters are full of organizational depth players that are signed so a minor league team can field a full roster. Also, keep in mind no one had this complaint when a 37 year old Mike Hessman was chasing the minor league home run record.
So no, Tebow is not going to cost the Mike Hessmans of the world their shot at making it to the major leagues. Quite to the contrary, Tebow may actually help other players get discovered.
As discussed above, Tebow is a draw meaning more people are going to go see his games. Ultimately, baseball people will want to go see Tebow, but they’re not going to watch just Tebow. They’re going to keep their eyes on everyone. When that happens, other players get additional exposure, and another organization could call the Mets and look to make a minor minor league deal to get the lesser known guy into their organization.
Tebow May Actually Be a Baseball Player
Fact is, no one yet knows what the Mets have in Tebow the baseball player. It is no different than when the Mets signed Wilmer Flores as a teenager out of Venezuela. You see a guy with some raw baseball tools, and you hope they make it to the major leagues.
Admittedly, Tebow is much older than Flores was. However, at 29 years old, Tebow is still young enough that he could go through the minors and eventually make the major leagues. After his showcase, he did show speed and some raw power. Given the right environment, he could develop into a fourth or a fifth outfielder on a major league team. If he doesn’t? No big deal. You eventually cut ties with him like you would any other prospect that didn’t pan out.
The Cespedes Factor
Right now, Yoenis Cespedes is the most important position player on the New York Mets. After this season, he is most likely going to opt out of his deal and become the top free agent available. When Cespedes does opt out, the Mets have to do everything they can do to keep him in Flushing for the long term.
Part of doing that is having a good relationship with Cespedes’ agents. No, it won’t lead to Cespedes turning down more money to play elsewhere, but it could give the Mets some advantages. For example, the Mets could be given the opportunity to match or beat any offer before Cespedes signs a deal. A good relationship with Cespedes’ agents could lead to the Mets striking quickly after the season and wrapping up Cespedes before he has an opportunity to hit the free agent market much in the way the Mets struck quickly with Mike Piazza after the 1998 season ended.
Overall, it is never a bad idea to have a good relationship with the agent who represents your most important pending free agent. Also, for what it’s worth Cespedes’ and Tebow’s agents also represent Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. Eventually, the Mets are going to want to discuss an extension with each of those players. Again, it’ll help if the Mets and the agency are on good terms.
So yes, there are a number of reasons why people may not want Tebow. However, when taking everything into consideration, this was a good move for the Mets organization.