Unsigned Jermaine Dye opts for retirement

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FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal said he talked to Jermaine Dye today and that the 37-year-old has chosen to retire after sitting out the 2010 season.

Dye had a terrific first half in 2009, but after fading all of the way to .179 after the All-Star break, he failed to attract much interest as a free agent after the season.  Unwilling to settle for a $10 million paycut, he ended up going unsigned last year.  He talked about coming back this year, but again, there wasn’t a lot of interest and he didn’t seem interested in signing a minor league contract.

Now apparently finished, Dye ends a 14-year career with a .274/.338/.488 line, 325 homers and 1,072 RBI.  A two-time All-Star, he had his best season in 2006, when he hit .315/.385/.622 with 44 homers and 120 RBI for the White Sox.  That earned him a fifth-place finish in the AL MVP balloting.  He never topped 35 homers outside of 2006, but he had back-to-back seasons of 119 and 118 RBI for the Royals in 1999 and 2000.

Dye was also the World Series MVP in 2005, going 7-for-16 with a homer and three RBI as the White Sox swept the Astros.

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.