Report: Andy MacPhail plans to walk away from Orioles

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today was told by two “high-ranking Orioles officials” that Andy MacPhail plans to walk away from the Orioles at the end of the season. MacPhail, who was hired as president of baseball operations in June of 2007, is currently in the final year of his contract.

Nightengale hears that several replacements have been discussed internally, including Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, whose contract also expires at the end of the season.

Many believe Orioles manager Buck Showalter will end up in a front office position down the road, but he told Nightengale that he is not interested in the general manager job. However, he has grown close with owner Peter Angelos and should play a significant role in deciding on a replacement.

As for MacPhail’s future, many have floated his name in the past as a potential successor to commissioner Bud Selig.

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.