While acknowledging Tim Tebow needs everyday play in minor-league camp, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Thursday the former Heisman Trophy winner likely will be around the big club's camp and could play in some Mets spring training games.
Asked how frequently Tebow might be in major-league camp, Alderson joked to reporters (via ESPN.com): "Too frequently for some and not frequently enough for others. He'll be around."
Tebow, who participated in the Arizona Fall League, didn't receive an invitation to the big-league camp, the team announced this week.
Still, Mets manager Terry Collins recognizes two things: First, that Tebow has a long way to go in his baseball climb, but, second, fans in Florida — and MLB players, too — want to see him take those steps this spring.
"If they decide to send him to [big-league] camp, we'll get him better," Collins said. "I can tell you, I certainly hope you will see Tim Tebow in some of our games. … I think he's a name in Florida. He's a star in Florida. He should be. I think it would be fun to have Tim come over. And certainly one thing about our players, they're athletes. They're fans, too. They would probably like to know how to run a quarterback sneak one day."
Alderson said the former Florida Gators football star and ex-NFL player probably would break camp with a full-season minor-league team.
He struck out 20 times in 62 Arizona Fall League at-bats, finishing with a .194 average with two RBIs.
"We knew he'd be overmatched in the Arizona Fall League. We also felt that he needed to play games," Alderson said. "And so, as we look at going into spring training and his first full season, I think the same priorities would hold true — he needs to play games. Under most circumstances that would mean, look, he's in minor-league camp. He's playing games every day. He comes over once in a while. And at the end of camp, he goes to a full-season team. I think that's what we would foresee."