Making official what was reported earlier this week, the Rays and David DeJesus have agreed to a two-year contract extension that includes a third-year team option.
DeJesus gets $10.5 million guaranteed and then Tampa Bay will have a $5 million option on his age-36 season in 2016. He’s coming off a two-year, $10 million deal signed with the Cubs and that contract included a $6.5 million option or $1.5 million buyout for 2014. So this is a nearly identical pact.
DeJesus had a pretty typical year, hitting .251 with eight homers and a .729 OPS in 122 games for the Cubs and Rays. His offensive production is slightly below par for a corner outfielder, but clearly the Rays feel his plus defense makes up for it and then some. Expect him to start every day versus right-handers and sit versus most left-handers in 2014.
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.