The New York Mets recently named longtime agent Brodie Van Wagenen their general manager. One of the chief concerns about that development is how Van Wagenen will navigate obvious conflicts of interest, given he and his agency represented a number of Mets players, including Tim Tebow. Unsurprisingly, Van Wagenen was asked about Tebow this week — and suggested the former Heisman trophy winner has an outside chance at cracking the opening day roster:
Tebow spent the year in Double-A, hitting .273/.336/.399 with six home runs in 84 games before a broken hamate bone in his right hand derailed his season. His chances of having a meaningful baseball career have improved since when he signed, but he’s still facing tall odds. Tebow will be entering his age-31 season with limited experience in the upper minors. He also struck out more than five times as often as he walked in 2018, suggesting his approach remains undeveloped.
Even so, there’s a decent chance Tebow makes the majors at some point next season. The Mets no doubt want to profit off selling his merchandise, and can obscure that fact by stating they wanted to reward a hard worker. That’s fine and dandy, but let’s be clear about something: Tebow doesn’t belong on the opening day roster. If he makes it by design, the Mets will have wasted the offseason (injuries forcing New York’s hand is another matter, obviously) and will have invited a cynical attitude toward Van Wagenen and his approach to conflicts of interest.
Of course, Van Wagenen is likely partaking in standard executive prattle when he says Tebow could make the roster. But, then, his standing as an atypical exec makes it harder to brush off.
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