Report: Nationals “pushing hard” to land Gio Gonzalez from Athletics

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Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Nationals are “pushing hard” to acquire left-hander Gio Gonzalez from the Athletics. No word on the specific players being offered by Washington, but Rosenthal hears the two sides are discussing a four-for-one deal.

Gonzalez has drawn interest from several teams this winter. The 26-year-old left-hander is arbitration-eligible for the first time as a Super Two player, but he’s still four years away from free agency. The asking price is naturally expected to be sky high.

It doesn’t appear as though anything is imminent and it’s possible that whoever lost out on the bidding for right-hander Yu Darvish could intensify their pursuit in the next 24 hours. The Blue Jays and Rangers (considered the favorites for Darvish) have both been linked to Gonzalez this offseason.

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.