Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE
Add Omar Quintanilla to the mix of players vying for backup infield spots on the Mets' Opening Day roster.
The Mets announced this morning that they have officially brought back middle infielder Omar Quintanilla on a minor league contract. The light-hitting journeyman signed with the Mets for the first time almost exactly a year ago and earned a promotion from Triple-A Buffalo to the big leagues at the end of May.
#Mets sign infielder Omar Quintanilla to a minor league contract and invited him to major league Spring Training.— New York Mets (@Mets) January 5, 2013
In 80 plate appearances with the Mets, Quintanilla hit surprisingly well; his triple-slash line of .257/.350/.371 far exceeded any of his previous stints in the majors. Quintanilla's bat, combined with good defense, actually made him worth 0.7 fWAR with the Mets.
The Mets flipped him to the Orioles near the end of July, but he didn't hit nearly as well in Baltimore as he had in New York. Although he made the Orioles' postseason roster, he did make an appearance in any of the team's postseason games.
As for the Mets this year, bringing back Quintanilla is a good move for depth in the middle of the infield. He can definitely handle shortstop and second base with his glove, even if his bat leaves a lot to be desired. Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy will be the starters, of course, but Quintanilla will compete with Jordany Valdespin, Justin Turner, and Brandon Hicks for time backing up the starting duo.