Tim Tebow has secured a minor league contract with the NY Mets.
The Heisman Trophy winner who had hoped to wow at least one of his MLB prospects into offering him a contract has finally landed a deal.
ESPN reports that Tebow is set to begin his professional baseball career in the team's instructional league, which runs from Sept. 18 through Oct. 8 in Port Lucie, Florida.
New York Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson consulted with co-owner Jeff Wilpon on Wednesday before approving the deal.
On Thursday, Alderson assured during a conference call that the signing was no publicity stunt.
"While I and the organization, I think, are mindful of the novel nature of this situation, this decision was strictly driven by baseball," he said. "This was not something that was driven by marketing considerations or anything of the sort. We are extremely intrigued with the potential that Tim has."
Alderson added, "He [Tim] has demonstrated over his athletic career that he is a tremendous athlete, has got character, a competitive spirit. Aside from the age, this is a classic player-development opportunity for us. As an organization, we're going to provide that development opportunity for Tim."
Tebow had also been courted by the Atlanta Braves who called him a "low-risk investment." Braves General Manager James Coppolella had this to say in an issued statement on Tuesday:
"We are interested in Tim because of his potential as a baseball player, not as a gate attraction,'' Coppolella said during the Braves' series with the Philadelphia Phillieson Sunday. "We have spoken with his representatives multiple times and all parties involved want this to be a pure baseball thing on every level."
The Braves, however, did not secure a contract.
Twenty-eight MLB teams attended Tebow's workout on Aug. 30 in Los Angeles and sports figures have voiced opposing on his decision to branch out from football.
Former MLB catcher Chad Moeller, who had been working out with Tebow since Memorial Day, said, "I am beyond impressed with Tim's athleticism and swing. … I truly believe Tim has the skill set and potential to achieve his goal of playing in the Major Leagues."
Seattle Seahawk Russell Wilson, however, offered the then potential baseball rookie a word of caution. "Hope he [Tebow] can hit a curveball. Baseball's pretty hard."
Tim Tebow hasn't played baseball since his junior year at Florida's Nease High School where he was a 2005 all-state baseball player and hit .494 with four home runs, 30 RBIs and 10 doubles, helping the team reach the Final Four of the state's playoffs.
Tewbow's former high school baseball coach Greg Mullins, who coached Tebow for two seasons — including his junior year in 2005 — said of the sports figure, "Everybody should know this: He [Tebow] wasn't just a great football player, he was a great baseball player too. I believe he could have played in the big leagues."