The Royals, along with every other team in major-league baseball, have been invited to attend a workout by former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow. Should the Kansas City Royals even consider signing Tebow to a minor-league deal?
The 29-year-old former Heisman Trophy winner from Florida, and former quarterback with the Denver Broncos, announced earlier this month through his agents that he will work out for MLB teams. Tim Tebow has been training in Arizona and has impressed a few major league players with his raw skills.
That list includes former nine-time MLB All-Star Gary Sheffield:
"“I see bat speed and power and real baseball talent,” Moeller said. “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.”"
On the other hand, other players were a bit more skeptical. Former KC Royals farmhand Cody Decker, who is currently playing in the Red Sox system, tweeted this when he found out that Tebow was selling signed balls for $125 and signed bats for $175 on his web site:
The biggest problem is that Tebow is an outfielder. He hasn’t played baseball since hitting .494 as a junior in high school. That’s 11 years ago. Even if Tebow can make the major-leagues in three years like Sheffield suggests in the link above, he will be a 32-year-old rookie outfielder. Basically, both his defense and bat speed will be on the decline when he debuts. Just what possible return could a major league team get from their time investment in his development?
Remember, a circus follows Tebow wherever he goes. Will that help his minor-league teammates hone their skills?
Such a signing would make more sense if Tebow were a pitcher. As a lefty, Tebow would have a major-league future as a LOOGY. Those lefty specialists can play well into their late 30’s and even their 40’s. But, as a position player, his defensive skills will be dropping off a cliff almost as he gets called up. That’s even presuming he DOES have the skills and drive to play in the major leagues.
However, as an outfielder, I can’t imagine a Tebow signing would be anything more than a stunt for the KC Royals. But, Tebow’s strong Christian beliefs would certainly fit with general manager Dayton Moore. Moore wrote a book about how faith formed the backbone of the championship culture he created with the Royals.
Hey, if Moore would keep the shade of Jeff Francoeur around for a year-and-half when he clearly couldn’t hit due to his clubhouse value, why not Tebow?