I’m not going to say that Kevin Millwood is asking for too much money and/or has nothing left in the tank, but when you’re passed up as the “random starter signed late in the spring by a desperate team hoping that they can catch lightning in a bottle” by Kip Wells, you should probably consider filing your retirement papers.
That’s what the Diamondbacks did today, signing Wells to a minor league deal. Wells hasn’t pitched in organized ball since 2009. He pitched for the independent Long Island Ducks last year, where he made five starts. For his career he has a 4.71 ERA for eight different teams across 11 seasons. I suppose he can’t hurt the Diamondbacks, even if he probably can’t be expected to help them either.
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.