The Mets reassigned Tim Tebow to minor league camp yesterday. The move was expected, as Tebow is not on the 40-man roster.
Tebow is likely to play most of his season at Double-A Binghamton. This despite the fact that he didn’t show anything approaching mastery of either level of single-A ball he played last year and despite the fact that he was completely overmatched this spring. Tebow’s demotion came after he went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in an exhibition against the Astros yesterday. Overall he’s 1-for-18 with 11 strikeouts in spring training.
Not that he’s around for his baseball skills.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Major League Baseball has banned all transactions with Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB), popularly known as the Mexican League. As of now, all 30 teams are prohibited from signing players under contract with LMB teams. The ban was issued due to Major League Baseball’s contention that “corruption” and “fraud” run rampant in the player acquisition process.
Passan describes the issues in detail, and they sound pretty compelling. The upshot: LMB clubs — which have full control over their players — are taking advantage of them, taking most if not all of the signing bonuses MLB teams give them after negotiating for their rights. Mexican teams often sign players when they’re 15 years-old so that, once they are old enough for American teams to approach them, they’re in the position to take a usurious cut.
Passan says Major League Baseball is demanding greater transparency from LMB before it’s willing to lift the ban. He also says that the MLBPA is in “lockstep” with Major League Baseball on the matter, which makes sense given that, if MLB’s claims are accurate, players are being exploited here. He also says that if LMB does not change its ways, there is a “Plan B,” though it’s not clear what that is.
There aren’t a ton of Mexican players signed by MLB teams each year, but there are enough to make this a significant issue that is worth watching.