Evan Longoria leaves the Yankees-Rays game for “precautionary reasons”

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UPDATE: This is strange. Marc Topkin reports that Longoria left the game “for precautionary reasons,” given that the Rays were playing a day game after a travel day. Which, OK, but the game was tied 3-3 and the Rays are fighting for their playoff lives. Are the Nationals making decisions about his playing time now too?

3: 48 PM: No word yet on why he’s out, and there was no apparent injury while he was in the game, but Evan Longoria left the Yankees-Rays game after the seventh inning today.

As Marc Topkin notes, Longoria said today that he was feeling fine and had no plans to miss any more games for the rest of the season, so this is something of a mystery at the moment.

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.