Conor Jackson to undergo surgery for sports hernia next week

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Athletics assistant general manager David Forst confirmed to Jane Lee of MLB.com today that Conor Jackson will undergo surgery to repair a sports hernia next week.

Jackson told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday that he was “99 percent sure” that he had a sports hernia, so this new doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Frankly, no injury with Jackson does. Dr. William Meyers, who examined him over the weekend, will perform the surgery on September 1. It will almost certainly be season-ending, but Jackson is fully-expected to be ready for spring training next season.

The 28-year-old outfielder/first baseman has batted just .236/.336/.327 with two home runs and 16 RBI in 208 at-bats between the Diamondbacks and Athletics this season. Jackson was acquired from the D-Backs in June, however he has only been able to play in 16 games with Oakland, mostly due to a lengthy absence with a hamstring injury.

The former 2003 first-round pick barely survived being non-tendered by the Diamondbacks last December after missing most of the 2009 season due to valley fever, but he should be looking for new employment this winter.

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.