After hitting just .204 in 34 games for the Brewers’ Triple-A team this season former big leaguer Jay Gibbons has announced his retirement at age 35.
Gibbons was a fixture in the middle of Baltimore’s lineup from 2001-2007, but the Orioles released him with more than $10 million remaining on his contract when he was named in the “Mitchell Report” and suspended for the beginning of 2008. Gibbons resurfaced with the Dodgers in 2010 and 2011, but saw limited action as a role player.
Gibbons had 25-homer power, but it came along with low batting averages and poor plate discipline. Overall he hit .260 with a .315 on-base percentage and .453 slugging percentage in 840 games, homering 127 times.
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.