Why it makes sense for the Tampa Bay Rays or Miami Marlins to trade for Tim Tebow
When New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told reporters that he thought former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow would one-day play in the major leagues, you could hear the snickering of baseball pundits. Really? The guy who is almost thirty years old that finished this spring training 1-for-18 that equates to .056 batting average. Yes, you read that right. A batting average below .100 for a position player.
Personally, I have no problem with Tim Tebow’s baseball pursuit. If he loves what he is doing and someone will give him an opportunity, he has every right to be on that field. Now you may be thinking that the former Heisman winner has no shot to play in the show. However, there are two teams where Tim Tebow could make it to the lights of major league baseball.
Major League Baseball in Florida has become the inverse Bermuda triangle where no baseball talent is going in, but seemingly, all of the state’s baseball talent has been spewed out. The recent fire sales of the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins are not helping two apathetic fan bases that are sick of top talented just being disposed of. Maybe that is why the Rays were dead last in total attendance in baseball last season and the Marlins were 27th even with Giancarlo Stanton blasting 59 home runs.
With that attraction gone, Florida baseball is no more than a witness protection program for ball players, which has to be miserable for Florida fans. So where does Tebow fit? Currently Tebow is in the New York Mets system. Even in the minors, Tebow has been an attraction selling out minor league stadiums wherever he goes. Given that neither team is going anywhere this season, why fans the attraction of seeing Tebow?
It is going to take a trade to get him, but if the Mets offer a decent prospect, I can’t see them saying no to the trade. Both Florida teams need to get fans into the ballpark. Even if Tebow doesn’t help the team on the field, his popularity would help to fill seats for franchise’s that are desperate for attendance. Now some will say this will not make the team that signs Tebow a laughing stock. Looking at their current rosters, they already are.
You never know. Best-case scenario Tebow catches on as a starter or backup caliber player and becomes a popular member of that team. At the very worst he will be an attraction to draw fans in while distracting fans from the below average product on the field. Moreover, consider this. He does not have to be a day one starter. The franchise could tease bringing Tebow up for intrigue and make the call up in the middle of the summer or add him to the 40-man roster when the rosters expand at the end of the season. With Tebow the Marlins or Rays would at least be interesting, and in the modern day world of sports there are two things you cannot afford to be.
Terrible and boring. Both franchises are there and if they want to add some interest in their respective franchises, bringing in Tebow would give fans something to watch this season.