Mets Finally Sign Omar Quintanilla

Finally, the Mets sign Omar Quintanilla.

I’m not sure what was the delay, but it’s about time. Other than Ruben Tejada, there was no one in the organization who had played as many as 10 Major League games at shortstop. Further, there were no MLB I’m shortstops left on the free agent market, other than Stephen Drew. Considering that shortstop is a somewhat important position, it’s a good idea for a big-league club to have a little bit of depth there. Had the Mets not signed Omar Q., I wonder who would have been brought in to back up Tejada — Julio Franco?

Oh, I know — there is Wilfredo Tovar. But what if something happens to Tejada? Yeah, Tovar will become the starter, but then who would be HIS backup? David Wright? Wilmer Flores?

Understandably, the signing of Omar Quintanilla isn’t likely to excite the Mets fan base. But, it was a deal that had to be done, and was long overdue.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. DaveSchneck January 20, 2014 at 9:40 am
    Nothing personally against Q or Ruben, but Alderson has now managed to bring back the worst shortstop tandem in baseball in 2013. His logic – Tejada is taking his profession seriously this offseason. With all arb cases settled but Duda, Alderson now has payroll cost certainly for 2014, and essentially an $82 mil payroll. That is frankly an embarrassment and disgrace. Not that spending money is the end all, it isn’t, but as is it is obvious the Mets are once again punting.

    This is not all about SS and Drew. Look at the difference between the Mets and Nats. The Nats have two closers already and are looking to add Balfour. The Mets have one coming off a serious neck surgery and a bunch of guns that throw hard with virtually no MLB experience. Alderson still has some time, but the clock is running out. If he stands pat now or adds a shaky bullpen arm I will side 100% with Izzy.

  2. DanB January 20, 2014 at 10:00 am
    The Met’s worst two positions were short and first. It looks like the Mets have acquired zero players to challenge the incumbents. Not even someone signed to a minor league contract. Do they actually expect to sell tickets this season?
  3. Reese January 20, 2014 at 11:02 am
    Actually, DanB, while the sentiment of your point makes sense, to be completely accurate early on they did acquire Brandon Allen:

  4. DanB January 20, 2014 at 11:24 am
    Thanks Reese, I had forgotten that. And, to be honest, the offseason is not over. I shouldn’t judge the finished product until opening day.
  5. CleonJames January 20, 2014 at 12:51 pm
    This was a no brainer. It doesn’t make the Mets or better. He fields better than most backups, so I don’t understand the negative sentiments. I do understand the frustration about Tejada, but he’s a buy low sell high kind of guy and will bounce back. The real issues continue to be lack of punch at 1st and in the outfield.
    • CleonJames January 20, 2014 at 12:52 pm
      I meant “it doesn’t make the Mets worse or better.”
  6. CleonJames January 20, 2014 at 1:12 pm
    But when will they sign his cousin, Omar Mantequilla?
    • Izzy January 20, 2014 at 5:27 pm
      I loved Cleon Jones but Mr James doen’T know much about fielding. Most back up middle infielders are good with the glove and bad with the bat. Omar is not an average fielder and not an average hitter. Why do you think he can be picked up any time? Because he is a minor leaguer. A minor league backup.
    • IzzyIzzy January 20, 2014 at 5:28 pm
      I loved Cleon Jones but Mr James doen’T know much about fielding. Most back up middle infielders are good with the glove and bad with the bat. Omar is not an average fielder and not an average hitter. Why do you think he can be picked up any time? Because he is a minor leaguer. A minor league backup.
      • CleonJames January 21, 2014 at 11:20 am
        His fielding pct is slightly above the league average. But his range is below average and runs saved per 1200 innings is negative, so on balance I agree with both Izzy and IzzyIzzy that he is below average. However, he makes some flashy plays so maybe that confused me.
        • crozier January 21, 2014 at 3:38 pm
          As long as the name Cleon Jones is being mentioned here…

          Your error (as it were) in thinking OQ is a slick fielder because you judged him with your eyes reminds me of Paul Blair’s remark after Tommie Agee robbed him of extra bases with his spectacular catch in the ’69 series. Blair claimed he would’ve made the play without leaving his feet. Great fielders position themselves so they make fewer flashy plays, not more.

          Signing OQ is a neutral in my view. It’s fine to have another body out there. Just not sure how he brings more value than, say, Justin Turner.

        • Joe Janish January 21, 2014 at 10:17 pm
          At this point in time, Omar Q. was a necessity — which is kind of scary.

          As others have pointed out, Q won’t be a distraction in any way, is a good guy, comes to play, appreciates his existence as a MLBer, and gets the most of his talent.

          At the same time, I also wonder why he, and not Justin Turner, will be in Port St. Lucie next month. Cream pies? Laziness? Or a contract costing above the MLB minimum?

  7. Joe Gomes January 20, 2014 at 3:01 pm
    The Mets can’t help themselves and must always bring back their garbage players.
  8. crozier January 20, 2014 at 10:15 pm
    I thought it was the Orioles turn to watch OQ again.
  9. argonbunnies January 21, 2014 at 2:25 am
    Omar can hit over .200 and is well-versed in the responsibilities of the SS position. I think that’s about all that can be said for him.

    Still hoping the Mets land Drew and trade a first baseman…

  10. Jason M. January 21, 2014 at 1:39 pm
    I like Quintanilla. Not in the sense that he’s one of the top 28 Opening Day shortstops in major league baseball, but in the sense that he just shows up and does his job whenever he is asked, and occasionally gets an important hit. He’s the glue in an otherwise dysfunctional, oft-injured team. He won’t disappoint on a major contract, he won’t have personality or personal issues affecting his performance, he won’t do or say stupid things in the clubhouse or to the media or off the field. When the best you can say is that he’s NOT Beltran or Wright or Trachsel or Vince Coleman or even Rey Sanchez, of course, it means your franchise has broken down to the lowest common denominator…..