I am extremely excited and ready for the 2018 season. Looking forward to a great ride with my new teammates and coaches with the @Mets
Can’t wait for #SpringTraining to start.
I am ready! Are you? pic.twitter.com/biW0hTTR1e
— Adrián González (@Adrian_ElTitan) January 18, 2018
New York will pay Gonzalez the Major League minimum of $545,000 this year. Gonzalez is owed $21.5 million overall in 2018 for the final year of his current contract; the remainder of those funds will be paid off by the Atlanta Braves, according to the Associated Press.
Gonzalez was traded to the Braves from the Dodgers in December, only to be released by Atlanta days later.
The 14-year veteran appeared in only 71 games in 2017 for the Dodgers due to elbow and back issues, making it the first time since 2005 that Gonzalez had failed to appear in at least 156 games.
Overall, Gonzalez is a career .288/.359/.488 hitter with 311 homers and 1,176 RBIs for four teams since his Major League debut in 2004.
Also making Met headlines recently was former NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, who New York invited to Spring Training on the 19th.
Eight additional players were invited to the Mets’ Grapefruit League squad:
We’ve invited nine players to major league #SpringTraining including: Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Kevin Kaczmarski, Patrick Mazeika, Drew Smith, Corey Taylor, Tim Tebow, David Thompson and Adonis Uceta. #Mets
— New York Mets (@Mets) January 19, 2018
Tebow, 30, began his pursuit of a baseball career in August 2016 before signing a professional deal with the Mets in September of that year. That month, he homered on the first pitch he saw as a professional baseball player while playing in the Mets’ instructional league (lefty on lefty as well!)
In 2017, Tebow hit .226/.307/.347 with eight homers and 52 RBIs across 430 at-bats split between two of the Mets’ minor league affilliates (single-A South Atlantic League, single-A Florida State League).
At 30, Tebow is an age when most professional baseball players’ skills begin to diminish. It’s like that in other sports too. Nevertheless, the former Denver Bronco will be battling for a spot on New York’s 25-man roster (Opening Day), or 40-man, in which case he could be called up at any point in the season.
Tebow was solely an outfielder in 2017, appearing in 80 games (77 in left field) while recording a .917 fielding percentage. Not good. Needless to say, that will have to improve if he has a chance at seeing the bigs.
Position players for the Mets are scheduled to report to Spring Training on February 17.