Alderson: Tebow deal ‘about baseball’
ATLANTA — Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is defending the team’s deal with Tim Tebow, saying the decision is about baseball and not an opportunity to sell merchandise.
Tebow, 29, agreed Thursday to a minor-league contract that includes a $100,000 signing bonus. He is attempting to launch a baseball career four years after the end of his time as an NFL quarterback.
Alderson said Friday it would be impractical to make such a big commitment to Tebow only as an attempt to market his name.
“I have to tell you that the notion that we’re going to spend $100,000 on a bonus for a player so we can sell a couple hundred dollars’ worth of T-shirts in Kingsport, those economics don’t work,” Alderson said.
“This was not about making money. The opportunity to sell T-shirts and the like is almost nonexistent.
“This was about baseball. This was about giving somebody an opportunity to play.”
The Mets have a rookie-league team in Kingsport, Tennessee.
Alderson said signing Tebow “was my idea.”
“Why not?” he asked. “From our standpoint, this is an interesting experiment.”
Tebow will report Sept. 18 to the Instructional League in Port St. Lucie, Florida. He will test his skills against younger players for three weeks before the Mets determine his next destination.
Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan are the only significant players to have extensive careers in both MLB and the NFL in the last three decades.
“We don’t have to listen to what everybody else wants us to do with our lives,” Tebow said on a conference call. “We get to do what we want.”