Former Red Sox reliever Burke Badenhop has no problem with baseball teams giving Tim Tebow a look. But signing him for $100,000? That’s where he draws the line.
Writing a column for MLB Trade Rumors, Badenhop blasted the Mets for disrespecting the work it took marginal prospects such as himself to reach the majors. He can’t believe Tebow received a bonus commensurate with a pick in the top 10 rounds when it’s clear he lacks the skill to be a big leaguer.
“Big leaguers are found all over the draft,” Badenhop wrote. “For every first-round superstar like Kris Bryant, you’ll find a Daniel Murphy in the 13th round. I was drafted in the 19th round as a college senior. I signed for $1,000. You could draft 100 of me for the price of one Tim Tebow. Such a thought only elicits feelings of disrespect.”
Badenhop was kinder to Tebow’s game, which many scouts consider limited and one compared to an actor attempting to play a baseball player, like Freddie Prinze Jr. in Summer Catch.
“Tebow’s swing looked fine to me,” Badenhop wrote. “It was definitely long, but it was powerful and fell far short of looking as bad as a Charles Barkley golf swing. Tebow’s outfield work definitely left more to be desired, though. He shagged fly balls with an awkward ‘five step drop’ type of footwork. And I couldn’t stop looking at his glove. Not the type of glove or the color or anything, but how it was broken in. It was just wrong. It didn’t have a pocket, it was bent in a weird way and he had all five fingers in each finger hole, which I’ve never seen an outfielder do.”
In any event, Badenhop resents the Mets seemingly allowing Tebow to short-circuit the process.
“To see a team give a 29-year-old with no baseball experience a six-figure bonus because he was good at college football was confusing,” he wrote. “The road to ‘The Show’ isn’t a walk in the park. You don’t get to the big leagues as a 19th-rounder and stay without earning it. It was a badge of honor for me. This signing makes it seem that maybe teams don’t take the grind as seriously as the players do. It sends a very mixed message.”
The rest of the piece is worth reading.