NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Both the Yankees and Mets reportedly will have scouts on-hand Tuesday as former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow showcases his skills on the baseball diamond.
Representatives from more than 20 major leagues are expected to attend the workout in Los Angeles. Both of New York’s squads will be included in that number, reported WFAN insider Jon Heyman, also of Today’s Knuckleball.
Initially, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson joked when he was asked if he had any interest in Tebow, a humanitarian and devout Christian who is trying to write his second act in pro sports.
“Are you insinuating we need a Hail Mary at this point?” he said.
The former Broncos and Jets quarterback last played organized baseball in high school, hitting .494 as a junior for Nease High School in Florida. He didn’t play baseball as a senior, concentrating instead on football.
“He was a six-tool player,” Tebow’s high school coach, Greg “Boo” Mullins, said in a 2013 interview with The Sporting News. “He has arm strength, he could run, he could hit, he could hit for power, he could field, but his character made him that six-tool guy.”
Agent Brodie Van Wagenen, the co-head of CAA Baseball, said in a statement that the workout is not a publicity stunt.
“His work ethic is unprecedented, and his passion for the game is infectious. He knows the challenges that lie ahead of him given his age and experience, but he is determined to achieve his goal of playing in the Major Leagues,” Van Wagenen said.
Tebow, 29, has been training in Scottsdale, Arizona, with former major league catcher Chad Moeller.
“I am beyond impressed with Tim’s athleticism and swing, and it goes without saying that he has shown a high level of discipline and strong work ethic,” Moeller said in a statement released by CAA. “I see bat speed and power and real baseball talent. I truly believe Tim has the skill set and potential to achieve his goal of playing in the Major Leagues, and based on what I have seen over the past two months, it could happen relatively quickly.”
Tebow won the Heisman and two national championships with the University of Florida and 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.
Tebow already has drawn the attention of minor league teams that always are on the lookout for a successful promotion.
The Schaumburg (Illinois) Boomers of the Independent Frontier League issued a news release saying they have offered Tebow a contract.
“We’re looking for an athletic outfielder who can bring some leadership and competitiveness into the clubhouse,” Boomers manager Jamie Bennett said. “Tebow brings all of those characteristics and then some. I think he’d be a great fit here in Schaumburg.”
The Fort Myers (Florida) Miracle, a Class A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, quickly planned a “What Would Tim Tebow Do?” night.
(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.)