Tebow, 29 and a budding outfielder, and the Braves met after an open tryout in Los Angeles on Tuesday that drew 28 of 30 major league teams, Braves general manager John Coppolella told USA TODAY Sports.
"If we sign him,’’ Coppolella said, “its because we think he has a chance to help us at some point.’’
Five clubs indicated interest after the workout, during which he flashed some power potential and decent speed, but struggled against live pitching and displayed a below-average throwing arm.
There figures to be greater upside for the Braves, however, whose interest was first reported by ESPN.
The parent club is located in the heart of
What's more, the club's minor league affiliates are sprinkled throughout SEC country -- where Tebow remains a popular figure as an analyst for the ESPN-owned state network of Southern football.
One of the Braves' rookie league clubs plays on the Disney-owned Wide World of Sports complex near Orlando, from which Tebow could begin a journey to the major leagues that would keep him exclusively in the South.
Its low-Class A affiliate is located in Rome, Ga., 70 miles from Atlanta, while its AA squad is in
And the Braves' Class AAA club is located in
The real kicker: The Braves and their parent company,
And lest we forget, the Braves will open
The Braves expect several top prospects, such as infielders Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies, to develop into stars in the early years of Suntrust Park. In the meantime, should Tebow show any aptitude in hitting a baseball thrown by professional pitchers, he'd make a decent gate attraction at the big league level.
That remains a longshot, but the Braves pocketing cash as Tebow moves up the ladder would be money in the bank.
Contributing: Bob Nightengale.