Jose Contreras and the Phillies have finalized the two-year contract extension that was reported over the weekend. He’ll get $5.5 million for two seasons and according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com the Phillies also have a team option for 2013.
Based on his 2010 performance alone Contreras is certainly worth the investment, as he thrived in his first full season as a reliever by going 6-4 with a 3.34 ERA and 57/16 K/BB ratio in 57 innings. However, he seemed to wear down somewhat in the second half and turns 39 years old next month.
Any multi-year commitment to a 39-year-old pitcher is a huge risk and the presence of a third-year team option is sort of amusing. What are the chances of the Phillies wanting to exercise their option on a 41-year-old Contreras come 2013?
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.