The Mets not only gave former quarterback Tim Tebow a $100K bonus, but handed him a cherished spot in the Arizona Fall League, and ESPN.com’s Keith Law argues (Insider link) that both were mistakes. Tebow, 29, lacks the baseline skill of his fellow entrants in the prospect-heavy offseason competition, Law opines after taking an in-person look. The prospect guru panned Tebow’s contact ability at the plate and his instincts in the field, and took no prisoners in assessing the totality of the situation: it was, in Law’s words, “a craven, mercenary move befitting an independent-league team desperate for the added revenue from ticket sales, not something a major league team with postseason aspirations should be doing.”
Here’s more from the NL East:
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins sat down with Ken Davidoff of the New York Post this spring, talking through the season to come with the understanding that their comments wouldn’t be published until year end. At the time, none of the challenges that sprung up during the 2016 campaign were really evident, but both leaders noted the variability inherent in the game and acknowledged that the health of the rotation and lineup could never really be assured.
- Outgoing Nationals free agent Wilson Ramos had successful surgery today to repair ACL and meniscus tears in his right knee, as the team announced and Jon Heyman of Fan Rag first reported. Estimates of his recovery timeline are ranging between six and eight months — which would obviously push into the early or middle portion of the 2017 season. Given that uncertainty, but also Ramos’s young age (he just turned 29) and top-level production (.307/.354/.496 batting line, 22 home runs in 2016), his free agent case will be among the more interesting in recent memory.
- The Nationals not only suffered yet another heartbreaking NLDS exit last night, but also watched key reliever Shawn Kelley leave with what looked to be a potentially significant arm injury. He said after the game that he lost feeling in his hand after throwing his final pitch, but there seems to be hope that a major problem has been averted, as MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reports. Kelley suggested that he hopes “it’s just a nerve thing,” explaining that he experienced worsening numbness rather than suffering an acute injury. Kelley is owed $11MM over the next two years and just wrapped up an excellent 2.64 ERA showing in 2016, with 12.4 K/9 against 1.7 BB/9 over 58 frames. Needless to say, he’s an important part of the Nats’ relief corps, and the organization already will likely be hunting for a big pen arm with mid-season closer acquisition Mark Melancon hitting free agency.
- Newly-inked Braves third base coach Ron Washington thought at one point he’d land the team’s managerial job, as John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group reports. “I thought my interview was good to the point I got that I had the [managerial] job, no doubt in my mind,” Washington said. “But you never know what the other side is thinking and how it will go. They offered me a different job in the organization.” Though he missed on the top post, and could’ve earned the same money on a two-year deal to stay with the Athletics in a coaching capacity, Washington chose to take a position that would put him closer to home.