Earlier today, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that the New York Mets were signing Tim Tebow to a deal. The move can be seen as a publicity stunt, but Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said they were serious about Tebow’s abilities on the baseball field. But there was one specific part of the conference call with reporters that indicated that Tim Tebow and the organization are not all-in: The Mets are allowing Tebow to continue to work for the SEC Network as a college football analyst.
Tebow, 29, has not played competitive baseball since high school, and now he is able to miss certain workouts or offseason activities for broadcasting purposes. That’s not how it should work. Clearly, Tebow impressed the Mets in his workout — they offered him a contract, after all — and Jon Heyman reported that Tebow did have options and picked the Mets because they were the best fit.
“This is something I don’t take for granted and I am excited about,” Tebow added. “I’m looking forward to getting to work.”
If that is true, Tebow should prove he is not taking it for granted by dedicating all the time possible. That’s why still working for the SEC Network makes it seem like more of a stunt than a signing. It’s an accomplishment in itself to get the opportunity as a professional baseball player, so Tebow should make sure he has no other endeavors that are going to be distractions. Tebow has a lot of work to do before he wants to move up in the minors, and for him to take off for a few days in the Arizona Fall League or the Instructional League to go to the studio and talk about college football is not how professional baseball players should be spending their weekends.
For the Mets, it is a low-risk move, so its understandable why they offered Tebow a contract, especially when their scouts came back impressed. There are indications that the Mets’ willingness to allow Tebow to continue his college football job was what ultimately led to his choosing them. But what impression does this send to the other players. These players are doing everything possible to show the Mets what they can do. They are fully invested, so why is Tim Tebow the one who gets a pass?
Tebow will report to the Instructional League on September 18 in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. I do have total faith that Tebow will be a true professional and the ultimate teammate, and if this ends up working out for both sides, kudos to them. But Tebow needs to be all-in, and so do the Mets.