Entering the year, Tim Tebow seemed certain to make his big-league debut with the New York Mets before the season ended — if not because of merit, then because of potential merchandise sales. The season won’t conclude for another month and a half, but Tebow will not be reaching the Show after all.
That’s because on Saturday the Mets announced he’ll miss the rest of the year due to the deep cut on his pinky finger that has sidelined him since July 21:
Tebow, who is expected to return in 2020, had a miserable season. He hit just .163/.240/.255 in 264 plate appearances and fanned in more than 37 percent of his trips to the plate. Were he not … well, Tebow, his age and performance would likely precipitate his release from organized ball. But he is Tebow, so here we are.
When the Mets signed Tebow, the hope — and it was nothing more than a hope — was his natural athleticism would enable him to reach the majors someday in a reserve capacity.
Tebow is now three full seasons into his ball-playing career, and there’s less reason than ever to believe he’s going to manage a meaningful big-league career. Not only has he scuffled against advanced pitching, but he’ll soon turn 32 years old. Todd Frazier is the only active Mets hitter who is older than Tebow.
It’s fair to wonder, then, how much longer both sides will allow this relationship to continue. The Mets almost certainly want to cash in on Tebow’s popularity by selling his gear, but at some point even they must concede this isn’t happening. Tebow, for his part, probably isn’t too keen on being overmatched every night.
As such, it seems plausible — if not likely — that the 2020 season will be Tebow’s last in organized ball. For his sake, here’s hoping it goes better than his 2019.