Mets mailbag: Why Tim Tebow’s time may be up
The Post is fielding questions from readers about New York’s biggest pro sports teams and getting our beat writers to answer them in a series of regularly published mailbags. In today’s installment: the Mets.
After the minor league layoffs, what does the future hold for Tim Tebow? Will the Mets continue to waste a roster spot on Tebow? —@Sec309sBack
The likelihood that a minor league season won’t occur brings us to the possibility Tebow has played his final game in the Mets organization. Unless MLB institutes a rule change, given the unprecedented nature of this season, the Mets will have to decide this offseason whether to add Tebow to the 40-man roster or expose him to the Rule 5 draft.
The Mets — as a team that consistently sells the idea it’s in “win now” mode — would be hard-pressed to find a suitable defense of Tebow’s inclusion on the 40-man roster. The question is, would another organization grab Tebow, who turns 33 this summer, and place him on their major league roster?
Considering there are two franchises in Florida — where Tebow is still deified after winning a Heisman Trophy with the Gators — and both teams are desperate for paying customers, you probably can’t rule out the Marlins or Rays. The Marlins, as a team still unlikely to contend next year in the loaded NL East, would probably be better positioned to take a whirl with Tebow than the Rays.
If Tebow went unclaimed he could return to the Mets, but at what point does the minor-league life get old for him?
Can this team under current ownership compete for a championship in the next five years? — @captaincookbook
In the last five years they have competed for a championship, so I suppose it’s possible. But the smoke signals rising above Citi Field also indicate the Mets ownership group headed by Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz is under financial duress, only exacerbated by the game’s shutdown. If the Wilpons keep the Mets beyond this season (the team is for sale) you would imagine any potential championship run as fueled more by Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil and Jacob deGrom than any daring moves with the payroll. The Mets are also thin in prospects at the upper levels of the minor leagues, only increasing the level of difficulty in winning.
Does this year make the Marcus Stroman trade look even worse for Brodie Van Wagenen? — @AlexanderGoHamm
Van Wagenen is only worthy of blame here if you hated the Stroman trade last year when it occurred. In the deal, the Mets sent Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods-Richardson to the Blue Jays, compromising an already thin young pitching crop. Even if you disliked the trade then, it might be wise to hold off in crushing Van Wagenen: If this season starts and Stroman helps carry the Mets deep into the postseason or (gasp) to a World Series title, the trade will have paid a huge dividend. The Dodgers went in big on Mookie Betts over the winter and could feel even more victimized than the Mets if a season isn’t played.
ill the Mets ever be considered for a U.K. series? — @davrosflatlee
The Mets were considered for a series against the Nationals in London this season. Ultimately, MLB selected Cubs-Cardinals, which was canceled following the COVID-19 outbreak. Also canceled was the Mets’ scheduled three-game series in Puerto Rico against the Marlins that MLB was sponsoring.
MLB has to finalize a potential schedule for this year before worrying about 2021, but it would make sense for Cubs-Cardinals to happen across the pond next season if the U.K. games are continued (the Yankees and Red Sox played in London last year). But there is also a good chance teams won’t have an appetite for international travel, even next year, due to the coronavirus.
When are the Mets going to induct their first “real” All-Star, Ron Hunt, into their Hall of Fame? — Ray Boivie
Hunt was a very good player for the Mets, with two All-Star selections in his four years with the club. But he also played for some dreadful Mets teams in the 1960s, and his lack of longevity with the club works against him (unlike say Keith Hernandez and Gary Carter, whose relatively short tenures with the Mets included a World Series title). Edgardo Alfonzo, Ron Darling and Jon Matlack were scheduled to be inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame this season. That ceremony is postponed indefinitely. Bobby Valentine and Al Leiter, in addition to eventual slam dunk David Wright, would be nice future additions.