There had been some speculation that the Mets might not tender arbitration-eligible starter Matt Harvey a contract this offseason, making him a free agent rather than being on the hook for at around $6 million to a starter who may never be the pitcher he used to be due to injures. But that speculation was wrong: Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Mets will tender The Dark Knight a contract.
Harvey, 28, has a 6.60 ERA and in 17 starts and one relief appearance overall this season and an ERA of 11.78 since returning from the disabled list in early September. The Mets are gambling that a winter of rest and a season of health in 2018 will give them at least something approaching the starter they once had in him. Or, at the very least, are hoping he can run off a couple of months of good performance next year after which they can flip him for something.
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.