NEW YORK -- Lacking bench depth, the Mets on Monday officially announced that they had signed shortstop Omar Quintanilla on a Minor League deal. The club had non-tendered Quintanilla earlier this offseason.
Back in New York, Quintanilla gives the Mets a natural middle infielder to back up starting shortstop Ruben Tejada and second baseman Daniel Murphy. He figures to compete in camp with Wilfredo Tovar and Anthony Seratelli, but Tovar is young and untested and Seratelli has not played much middle infield recently in his career.
Quintanilla, meanwhile, has logged significant action as Tejada's primary backup for parts of the last two seasons. The Mets' exasperation with Tejada last summer led to 359 plate appearances for Quintanilla, who remained the starting shortstop even after Tejada recovered from a right quad strain. An eight-year veteran, Quintanilla batted .222 with two home runs and a .589 OPS.
Non-tendering both Quintanilla and Justin Turner earlier this offseason left the Mets without a veteran backup middle infielder. Quintanilla's new deal likely precludes Turner from returning to Flushing.