The New York Mets have made their first cuts of the spring. Most of the names aren’t that surprising, but there are two exceptions.
According to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, the New York Mets cut 11 players from their spring roster on Friday.
The Mets just made their first cuts of spring. Heading to minors camp:
OF Tim Tebow
C Austin Bossart
C David Rodríguez
LHP Stephen Gonsalves
LHP Thomas Szapucki
RHP Jordan Humphreys
RHP Franklyn Kilome
RHP Matt Blackham
RHP Stephen Nogosek
RHP Nick Rumbelow
RHP Francisco Ríos
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) March 6, 2020
Most of the names aren’t big surprises, they were truly just minor league fillers. Tim Tebow and Stephen Gonsalves don’t fit that bill though.
Tebow is likely never going to make the majors. He’s just not good enough right now, and at his age, there’s little room for improvement. Nonetheless, he’s a huge draw at the ballpark.
When Tebow steps up to the plate at Clover Park, fans cheer louder than they do for anyone else. A lot of that has to do with the fact that he’s a legend in Florida. Tebow grew up in Ponte Vedra before attending the University of Florida. Now, he’s back playing baseball over a decade after winning the Heisman Trophy and the “Sunshine State” still shows him love.
There’s no question that Tebow’s a star that people want to see. Thus, it’s surprising that the Mets cut him so early in spring. His presence is a great way to maximize revenue.
The bigger surprise, at least from a traditional baseball sense, is Stephen Gonsalves. The lefty was having a strong spring with the team. He didn’t allow a single run and only let up two hits in five innings of work.
He seemed primed to have a long stay in camp before fighting to be a primary depth piece in AAA. This early cut puts a dent in that thought process. It’s possible the Mets think less of Gonsalves than his former top prospect pedigree would suggest.
It’s also possible that this is a way of trying to limit innings for Gonsalves. He suffered a serious injury and only made one start in AAA in 2019. The Mets may be concerned over his long-term viability.
Whatever the case, the Mets cutting Gonsalves so early in spring is arguably the most surprising move they’ve made.