He's alive! Carlos Beltran finally returns from knee surgery

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Mets fans probably started to wonder if this day would ever come, but Carlos Beltran has finally been activated from the disabled list. For real.
He missed the entire first half following January knee surgery that was initially expected to sideline him for just 8-12 weeks, but Jerry Manuel has thrown him right back into the fire as the Mets’ center fielder and cleanup hitter tonight against Tim Lincecum.
Angel Pagan slides over to right field after starting 72 of 88 games in center, with Jeff Francoeur taking his measly .695 OPS to the bench after starting all but seven first-half games. Presumably he’ll still replace the switch-hitting Pagan in right field against left-handed pitchers, and the Mets face Barry Zito tomorrow and Jonathan Sanchez on Sunday.
Obviously it’s tough to know what to expect from Beltran at this point, but he played 14 games while rehabbing in the minors at Single-A and hit .367 with five doubles. Based on that his bat sure seems ready, but his speed, defense, and durability are seemingly much bigger question marks.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.