Tim Tebow one of the Mets' first spring training cuts

 

Tim Tebow won’t begin the 2020 season as a member of the New York Mets. The quarterback turned outfielder was among the team’s first roster cuts Friday. He — along with 10 other players — were assigned to the team’s minor-league camp.

 

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Tebow, 32, didn’t do enough to impress the team in his limited time this spring. He went just 2-for-13 over 10 games. One of those hits, however, was Tebow’s first spring training home run. That wasn’t enough to buy him more time in major-league camp.

Tim Tebow will start 2020 in the minors

The move shouldn’t come as a surprise. Tebow has struggled since joining the Mets. In three seasons in the minors, Tebow has a .223/.299/.338 slash line. Despite those numbers, Tebow has been promoted through the Mets’ system. He spent all of 2019 at Triple A, but was limited to 77 games due to a hand injury.

Is it time for the Tim Tebow experiment to end?

While Tebow is only a step away from the majors, it’s tough to envision him making the Mets on merit. The organization has been content to move Tebow up the ladder in the minors as a way to increase revenue, but the team may draw the line when it comes to using Tebow in a major-league game.

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Tim Tebow with the New York Mets
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 21: RY 21: RY 21: RY 21: RY 21: Tim Tebow #83 of the New York Mets poses for a photo during photo days at First Data Field on February 21, 2018 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - AUG 13: Tim Tebow of the Mets at bat during the Florida State League game between the St. Lucie Mets and the Tampa Yankees on August 13, 2017, at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, FL. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - AUG 13: A Gators fan is all smiles as he captures a selfie with Tim Tebow of the Mets before the Florida State League game between the St. Lucie Mets and the Tampa Yankees on August 13, 2017, at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, FL. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
KISSIMMEE, FL - JUL 21: Tim Tebow of the Mets throws the ball back into the infield during the Florida State League game between the St. Lucie Mets and the Florida Fire Frogs on July 21, 2017, at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, FL. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
KISSIMMEE, FL - JUL 21: Tim Tebow of the Mets makes a catch in centerfield during the Florida State League game between the St. Lucie Mets and the Florida Fire Frogs on July 21, 2017, at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, FL. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - JUNE 28: St. Lucie Mets Outfielder Tim Tebow (15) laughs with St. Lucie Mets Outfielder John Mora (4) on the field before the start of the second game of a double header MiLB minor league baseball game between the Palm Beach Cardinals and the St. Lucie Mets at the First Data Field in Port St Lucie, Florida on June 28, 2017. (Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - JUNE 28: St. Lucie Mets Outfielder Tim Tebow (15) smiles as he signs autographs for fans in the stands before the start of the first game of a double header MiLB minor league baseball game between the Palm Beach Cardinals and the St. Lucie Mets on June 28, 2017 at the First Data Field in Port St Lucie, Florida.. (Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - JUNE 28: St. Lucie Mets Outfielder Tim Tebow (15) laughs with a team mate in the dugout during the second game of a double header MiLB minor league baseball game between the Palm Beach Cardinals and the St. Lucie Mets at the First Data Field in Port St Lucie, Florida on June 28, 2017. (Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - JUNE 28: St. Lucie Mets Outfielder Tim Tebow (15) smiles before batting during the first game of a double header MiLB minor league baseball game between the Palm Beach Cardinals and the St. Lucie Mets on June 28, 2017 at the First Data Field in Port St Lucie, Florida.. (Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CHARLESTON,SC - JUNE 17: Tim Tebow (15) of the Fireflies at bat during the minor league game between the Columbia Fireflies and the Charleston RiverDogs on June 17, 2017 at AT&T Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LAKELAND, FL - MARCH 20: Tim Tebow #97 of the New York Mets looks on from the dugout during the Spring Training game against the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on March 20, 2017 in Lakeland, Florida. The Tigers defeated the Mets 5-1. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
LAKELAND, FL - MARCH 20: Tim Tebow (97) of the Mets at bat during the spring training game between the New York Mets and the Detroit Tigers on March 20, 2017 at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PORT ST LUCIE, FL - MARCH 08: New York Mets Designated Hitter Tim Tebow (97) during a MLB spring training game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Mets at Tradition Field in Port St Lucie, Florida on March 8, 2017. (Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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This wouldn’t be an issue if Tebow were a 20-year-old prospect with excellent tools, but that’s not the case. At 32, Tebow is too old to be considered a prospect. When he first joined the Mets, the one tool scouts thought Tebow possessed was power. In his three years in the minors, Tebow has failed to post a slugging percentage above .400. If he was worth putting on a major-league roster, he likely would have reached that level a year or two ago.

What’s next for Tim Tebow?

If Tebow wants to continue his baseball career, the Mets seem content to let him play in the minors. At this point, though, it’s tough to expect Tebow to post strong numbers. If Tebow is going to make the majors in 2020, it’s because the Mets performed poorly and are looking for some publicity at the end of the season. But in a scenario where the games matter, Tebow isn’t likely to get the call.

Given that Tebow has a steady fallback job as a college football analyst, it’s fair to wonder how much longer he’s willing to ride the bus at Triple A.

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