It may take a great deal of Tebowing for former Jets quarterback Tim Tebow to achieve his next athletic goal: playing Major League Baseball.
Tebow, who turns 29 on Sunday, has been working out in Scottsdale, Arizona and hopes to have scouts from MLB teams attend his showcase later this month. He has not played baseball since his high school years in Florida.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson was asked if he would give any thought to signing Tebow. “Are you insinuating that we need a Hail Mary? That’s not something we’ve given a lot of thought to. I’d say it’s probably unlikely but that’s without any real information on his baseball background. So we’ll keep an open mind.’’
As to whether the Mets would attend the Tebow workout, Alderson said, “We’ll make a decision on that. I don’t want to be too cavalier about it but [it’s] probably not going to have an impact on us in a material way over the next two months.’’
It was not clear if the Yankees would attend the workout but Tebow was not considered a prospect by the organization while in high school. One amateur scout who saw Tebow in Florida at that time said Wednesday, “He was interesting but everyone knew he was going to play football. He wasn’t a guy that made you jump out of your shoes. He’s an athlete, quick hands, great hand-eye coordination but he didn’t look like a [big-league] prospect in high school. I could see him playing ‘A’ ball, that’s about it.”
Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner for two-time national champion Florida, last appeared in a regular season game in 2012 with the Jets. He is a college football analyst for ESPN. Notable modern athletes who have played in NFL and MLB include Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders. NBA legend Michael Jordan played one year of Double A in the White Sox chain.
Tebow is represented by Brodie Van Wagenen of Creative Arts Agency. “This may sound like a publicity stunt, but nothing could be further from the truth,’’ the agent said in a statement to several news outlets. I have seen Tim’s workouts, and people inside and outside the industry — scouts, executives, players and fans — will be impressed by his talent. As an agent, I have a genuine respect for how hard it is to succeed at the game of baseball and a true admiration for those who possess the talent to play it at the major league level. Tim’s tool set is real. His physicality is unique in professional baseball. His work ethic is unprecedented, and his passion for the game is infectious. He knows the challenges that lie ahead of him given his age and experience, but he is determined to achieve his goal of playing in the major leagues.”
Van Wagenen negotiated former Yankee Robinson Cano’s $260 million deal with the Mariners and, according to Forbes, has earned $30.4 million in commissions through 2015. Thus far, he has been sent an offer of $600 month for Tebow to sign — sight unseen — with the Schaumburg (Illinois) Boomers, a team in the Frontier League with no major league affiliation.
“I’ve seen enough of lefty jump passes to make me think we can transform him into whatever position he needs to play,’’ Boomers president and general manager Pete Laven said by phone. “Just his athleticism and leadership. We’ve seen enough. We want him.’’
The Boomers average about 3,800 fans in 7,365-capacity Schaumburg Boomers Stadium. Laven expects the stadium would fill to capacity with Tebow. “We have formally sent the contract offer to his agency,’’ Laven said. “We have not heard back as of yet.’’
The Long Island Ducks have not reached out to Tebow. “We wish him luck as his pursues his dream of playing professional baseball,’’ general manager Michael Pfaff said. “In the event that he and his reps thought that the Atlantic League was an avenue that they wanted to go down, we’d be open to discussing the possibility of him playing with the Ducks in the future.’’
With Erik Boland and Ari Kramer