Mets sign Tim Tebow and assign him to instructional league; here's what it means

Former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback Tim Tebow made his intentions to play baseball known several weeks ago, and now he has an organization. And wouldn't you know it, he's signed with another orange and blue team, much like the Florida Gators and Denver Broncos.

Tim Tebow ... Meet the Mets.

The AP reports that Tebow and the Mets agreed to a $100,000 signing bonus. As James Wagner notes on Twitter, $100,000 is the highest bonus a team can give to a post-draft signee without incurring penalties. To put that figure in context, signing bonus slots for 10th-round picks in 2016 ranged from $161,300 to $156,000.

Tebow will continue his work as a college football analyst for the SEC Network, which will require him to be absent from instructs for at least a couple of days a week. The Mets were reportedly the only team willing to make such allowances for Tebow.

As for anyone misguidedly wondering about the impact on the Mets in 2016, there is zero. Instructional leagues are where teams start the earliest stages of development on players either needing experience or long-injured players go to get back some game speed during their rehab process. Generally speaking, a player like Tebow in instructionals is far, far away from hitting the majors.

As for the notion that Tebow might somehow be "taking someone else's spot," he's not. Spots in instructionals aren't limited and most of the game action isn't even limited to regular game-type situations. The at-bats aren't really limited, nor is the time spent on any given individual.

Basically, there's no real risk from a baseball standpoint for the Mets here. They are simply seeing what they can get out of a 29-year-old athlete who has flashed some upside despite being very raw. On that point, here's what GM Sandy Alderson said on Thursday:

One thing that will surely be different than normal? The Tebow Media Circus along with the flocks of fans that come with it. One doesn't often see anything close to that in the instructionals.

As for the rest of us who are allowed to live in Tim Tebow's world, we're onto the next chapter. We know he's signed with the Mets. Now we breathlessly wait to see how far his major-league dream gets. His progress during the 2017 season will go a long way toward the conclusion of that chapter. How he fares in instructionals this year doesn't really impact that, but instead simply lays the foundation for 2017 spring training and beyond.

So what will constitute success for Tebow? He'll tell you himself:

Either way, the show starts soon.

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered the last six World Series beginning with the epic 2011 Fall Classic. The former Indiana University... Full Bio

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