ATLANTA (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Atlanta Braves see “no risk” if they end up signing Tim Tebow.
Braves general manager John Coppolella told MLB.com Tuesday that he believes it’s “good for the game” the former NFL quarterback wants to give baseball a shot.
“Whatever Tim decides, the fact that he wants to play baseball is good for the game,” Coppolella said. “It’s similar to when Michael Jordan or others have wanted to play. It’s positive to draw this kind of interest to the game and make it a story because it’s good for baseball.”
According to MLB.com, if the Braves do sign Tebow, he would begin his career in Double-A for the Mississippi Braves in SEC country. Tebow won the 2007 Heisman and two national titles for the University of Florida.
“There’s no risk,” Coppolella told MLB.com. “If it doesn’t work, we’ll be honest with Tim early, and we can move on. If it does work, it’s great for the Braves and it’s great for baseball.”
Last week, more than 20 teams watched Tebow’s workout in Los Angeles, and some scouts came away impressed with his raw power.
Tebow’s heavily muscled, 255-pound physique and 6.70-ish time in the 60-yard dash were impressive to the scouts. He also showed undeniable hitting ability with a series of line drives and long homers during batting practice.
But Tebow also showed he still needs baseball seasoning when he faced live pitching from former big-leaguers David Aardsma and Chad Smith, who repeatedly fooled him with off-speed pitches. Tebow could only grin in frustration after he fanned on a series of changeups and breaking balls.
“The goal would be to have a career in the big leagues,” Tebow said. “I just want to be someone to pursue what I believe in, what I’m passionate about. A lot of people will say, ‘But what if you fail? What if you don’t make it?’ Guess what? I don’t have to live with regret. I did everything I could. I pushed it. I would rather be someone that could live with peace and no regret than what-if, or being scared.”
Tebow was drafted in the first round by the Broncos in in 2010. He has not played in the NFL since 2012 with the Jets. He went to training camp with the New England Patriots in 2013 and the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015 but was cut before the season each time.
“It’s not about publicity,” Tebow said. “It’s definitely not about money. It’s a pay cut to do this. Just pursue what you love, right? Regardless of what else happens. Regardless of if you fail, or if you fall on your face. If that’s the worst thing that can happen, that’s OK. When did that become such a bad thing? When did pursuing what you love become a bad thing, regardless of the result? For me, yeah, I’ll make all the sacrifices to be the best I can.”
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)