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Tim Tebow gets invite from Mets to major-league spring training

Mets outfielder Tim Tebow looks on during a

Mets outfielder Tim Tebow looks on during a spring training practice Monday, Feb. 27, 2017 in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

The Mets announced Friday that they have invited Tim Tebow to major-league spring training for the second straight season.

Tebow, 30, will begin his second year of attempting to reach the big leagues when the Mets open spring training in Port St. Lucie, Florida, next month. Exhibition games begin Feb. 23.

The former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback spent 2017 in the minor leagues as a lefthanded-hitting outfielder after not having played baseball since high school. In 126 games for two Class A teams, Tebow hit .226 with eight home runs and 52 RBIs. He struck out 126 times in 486 plate appearances.

In September, Tebow told MLB.com: “For me, [2018] will be about training and getting better, and then trying to show up at spring training and being ready to go. I need to be as ready as I can be . . .

“[Baseball] is a very different grind. It’s the first time I’ve gone through it. It’s probably as many games as I’ve played, more than my whole high school career. There’s a grind to it, and it’s something you’ve got to get used to because it’s something I’ve never done before. I think it will be easier [in 2018] from that standpoint mentally, knowing what to expect. As far as baseball goes, I think it will be a huge year for me.”

Tebow signed a minor-league contract with the Mets in September 2016. He reported to instructional league and also served as a college football analyst for ESPN.

The Mets also announced the rest of their spring training invitees: righthanded pitchers Drew Smith, Corey Taylor and Adonis Uceta, lefthander P.J. Conlon, outfielder Kevin Kaczmarski, first baseman Peter Alonso, infielder David Thompson and catcher Patrick Mazeika. They previously had invited outfielder Zach Borenstein, infielder Phil Evans, catcher Jose Lobaton and lefthander Matt Purke.

Righthanded reliever Kevin McGowan, who was designated for assignment Wednesday, cleared waivers and also was invited to spring training after being assigned to Triple-A Las Vegas. Righthanded reliever Chasen Bradford was claimed off waivers by Seattle.

New York Sports