Jennings joins Mets on Minor League deal

Jennings joins Mets on Minor League deal

NEW YORK -- Seeking to shore up their outfield depth, the Mets on Wednesday signed veteran Desmond Jennings to a Minor League contract. Jennings will report to Triple-A Las Vegas.

A former top prospect of the Rays, Jennings finished seventh in American League Rookie of the Year Award voting in 2011, batting .259 with 20 steals in 63 games. But he hit just .248 with a .716 OPS the next three years as a regular starter with Tampa Bay. Last season, Jennings appeared in 65 games, batting .200 with a .631 OPS.

Now 30, Jennings gives the Mets a depth option capable of playing center field. The Mets' regular starter in center, Curtis Granderson, is 36 years old, while backups Juan Lagares and Brandon Nimmo opened the year on the disabled list. The Mets' only other options at the position are Michael Conforto and Ty Kelly, neither of whom is a natural center fielder.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.