NEW YORK » Tim Tebow has agreed to a minor league contract with the New York Mets that includes a $100,000 signing bonus.
The Mets announced today that the former NFL quarterback will report Sept. 18 to the Instructional League in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
“While I and the organization are mindful of the novel nature of this situation, this decision was strictly driven by baseball,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said during a conference call.
“This was not something that was driven by marketing considerations or anything of the sort. We are extremely intrigued with the potential Tim has.”
Tebow won the 2007 Heisman Trophy at Florida and played on the 2006 and 2008 national championship teams with the Gators.
The amount of the signing bonus was obtained by The Associated Press from a person familiar with the contract who spoke on condition of anonymity because the figure was not announced.
The 29-year-old aspiring outfielder went through drills at the University of Southern California last week in front of major league scouts and reporters.
Tebow’s strength and 6.70-ish time in the 60-yard dash were impressive to the scouts. He also showed hitting ability with a series of line drives and long homers during batting practice.
Tebow hasn’t played baseball regularly since his junior year at Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, Florida. But 12 years ago, Tebow was a .494-hitter and all-county outfielder.
He started training three months ago at a baseball school in Arizona run by former big league catcher Chad Moeller.
He played for the Denver Broncos and New York Jets in the NFL from 2010-2012. Tebow had preseason workouts with the New England Patriots in 2013 and the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015.
Asked last month whether the Mets were interested, Alderson responded: “Are you insinuating we need a Hail Mary at this point?”