Report: The Giants and Cubs talked Rowand for Fukudome

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According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, the Giants and Cubs discussed a swap of Aaron Rowand for Kosuke Fukudome.

Some may classify this as a potential swap of bad contracts, but to equate Fukudome to Rowand is nuts. Keep in mind, Rowand is still owed $24 million (!) over the next two seasons while Fukudome will make $13.5 million in the final year of his deal next season.

While Rowand is still a solid defender, he has a meager .225/.277/.370 batting line dating back to the All-Star break of the 2009 season. It’s not a stretch to say that Fukudome has been a disappointment in Chicago, he at least knows how to draw a walk. In fact, his 809 OPS last season was his best since arriving stateside. Take a look at some of the money being tossed around this winter and his contract doesn’t seem so bad anymore. The Cubs would be doing Brian Sabean a tremendous favor to even consider such a swap.

Fortunately for Cubs fans, Crasnick calls this one a “real long shot.”

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.