The New York Mets have traded Jay Bruce, so will it be Tim Tebow time soon?
A limited no-trade clause narrows the market for outfielder Jay Bruce, but he cleared revocable waivers and the New York Mets sent him to the Cleveland Indians Wednesday night. With little to lose at this point, and a spot in the outfield available, will the Mets consider calling up Tom Tebow?
Tebow did not hit well in the Arizona Fall League last fall with a .194/.296/.242 slash-line and two RBI over 71 plate appearances. He also did not do particularly well for the Mets’ High Single-A team in Columbia, South Carolina, hitting .220/.311/.336 with three home runs and 23 RBI over 244 plate appearances. But he still got a promotion to High Single-A St. Lucie, where he has done a bit better with a .248/.314/.411 slash-line, five home runs and 24 RBI over 157 plate appearances.
But Tebow’s impact goes beyond what he can or can’t do on the field. The Columbus Fireflies set attendance records while he was on the team, and the St. Lucie Mets have done the same. When Tebow’s team travels, opposing teams and venues have also seen a dramatic impact on attendance and revenue.
Tebow’s defense in left field does not seem to be anywhere near big league-ready, even with an occasional great catch. He has made nine errors for Columbus and St, Lucie so far, with just one total outfield assist to offset those mistakes. Stepping up a couple of levels, with harder hit balls and faster, more savvy runners to challenge his throwing arm, will expose Tebow as a below-average to outright bad outfielder.
But the Mets have not hidden from Tebow’s value as a promotional piece and a losing season. stands to hurt September attendance at Citi Field. An immediate call up may not be coming with Bruce now gone, but when rosters expand on Sept. 1 the odds are good Tebow will be in a Mets’ uniform.