The Mets are considering a Tim Tebow promotion

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Not a lot has gone right for the Mets recently. They’ve lost their ace starter, their star slugger and their closer to injuries. Their most famous starter stayed out partying on Cinco de Mayo which led to a nearly weeklong tabloid story. Just not ideal.

One part of their 2017 plan is going well, however. It’s a small part, but one that you know someone in the marketing department hoped would go well. That’s the Tim Tebow experiment.

Tebow has gotten fairly hot lately down in the Sally League of late. Overall, he’s hitting .250/.330/.370 with two homers and 11 RBIs in 28 games for Columbia, but in his past 16 games he has an .849 OPS. It has the Mets thinking:

According to a club source, there has been discussion about moving the former Heisman Trophy winner to a higher level within the minors, but such a jump likely won’t occur until after the All-Star Game in midseason.

The next level up from where Tebow is now would be St. Lucie, which is high-A, but I bet if they promote him they’d send him to Double-A Binghamton. Partially to get him closer to New York geographically, but partially as a sink-or-swim proposition.

Players say that the toughest jump in the minors is the one to Double-A. That’s where real talents go after the great filter that is A-ball. If Tebow could somehow manage to hold his own there it would, perhaps, provide the Mets a path to an eventual big league cup of coffee and all of the publicity, marketing and jersey sales that would provide. If not, well, at least they’d know for sure that he couldn’t hack it.

Anyone can get hot for a couple of weeks and Tebow could quickly slump down in Columbia. But it’s intriguing all around.

Fried, Braves go to salary arbitration for 2nd straight year

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pitcher Max Fried went to salary arbitration with the Atlanta Braves for the second straight year, asking for $15 million instead of the team’s $13.5 million offer.

The 29-year-old left-hander went 14-7 for the second straight season and lowered his ERA to 2.48 from 3.04 in 2021. Fried was a first-time All-Star last season, was second to Miami’s Sandy Alcantara in Cy Young Award voting and was third in the National League in ERA behind Alcantara and Julio Urias with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Fried won a $6.85 million salary last year instead of the team’s $6.6 million proposal in arbitration. That was after he pitched six shutout innings in World Series Game 6 as the Braves won their first title since 1995.

Fried, who is eligible for free agency after the 2024 World Series, had his case heard Friday by a panel that’s expected to issue a decision Saturday.

Players have won two of three decisions so far: Pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Miami Marlins. But Seattle defeated Diego Castillo ($2.95 million).

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe, whose case was argued Monday. About 20 more cases are scheduled through Feb. 17.