Jon Heyman reports that, in addition to the Yankees and the Rockies, the Tampa Bay Rays are now talking to Andruw Jones.
Jones hit .230/.341/.486 with 19 home runs and 49 RBI for the White Sox last season, but is line against lefties — .256/.373./.558 — is pretty attractive for a lot of teams. He’d certainly have more opportunities to hit in Tampa Bay than he would in New York — where Jorge Posada is going to be the everyday DH — or Colorado, where Jones would have to play more defense in a big outfield that would kill a lot of his value.
By the way, the fact that I feel really weird talking about Andruw Jones as a defensive liability is perhaps the best evidence that, as time goes on, I find myself stuck in the 1990s more and more. Well, that and the fact that I watched a bunch of X-Files episodes last night. There was a time when Andruw Jones was the best outfielder in baseball. There was a time when cell phones were a foot long. There was a time when I considered quitting law school and leaving my wife so I could stalk Gillian Anderson full time.
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.