The Indians acquired outfielder Jay Bruce from the Mets on Wednesday night. Because the Indians agreed to take on all of Bruce’s remaining salary — about $5 million — the Mets didn’t get much in return, just a Single-A reliever with an ERA in the high fours.
An interesting note surfaced from Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports: the Mets and Yankees couldn’t reach a deal because the Yankees were unwilling to take on the entirety of Bruce’s remaining salary. The Yankees offered “multiple prospects” and a portion — but not all — of Bruce’s salary, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
So, the Mets had a chance to get “multiple prospects” instead of a Single-A non-prospect reliever if the club was willing to eat a few million dollars. And the Yankees didn’t land Bruce because the club was unwilling to eat a few million dollars. Instead, the smaller-market Indians made a big offensive upgrade and make themselves more of a threat in the American League as the playoffs approach.
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.