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Quintanilla back with Mets on Minor League deal

NEW YORK -- The Mets re-acquired an old friend on Saturday, officially signing infielder Omar Quintanilla to a Minor League contract and inviting him to Spring Training.

Quintanilla, 31, hit .257 with one home run in 29 games with the Mets last season, serving as the everyday shortstop for a spell, with both Ruben Tejada and Ronny Cedeno on the disabled list. But needing roster space to activate Jason Bay from the DL in July, the Mets placed Quintanilla on waivers and ultimately dealt him to Baltimore.

There, Quintanilla boosted the Orioles' playoff run, batting .329 with three home runs and 11 RBIs in his first 21 games. Cooling significantly after that, Quintanilla made Baltimore's American League Division Series roster, but did not appear in any games.

Back in New York, Quintanilla will serve as middle infield depth for the Mets, who have Tejada and Daniel Murphy entrenched as the starters at shortstop and second base. Quintanilla may have to battle Justin Turner and Brandon Hicks for a spot on the team. It is likely that only two of those three will make the Opening Day roster.

Quintanilla is a career .220 hitter over parts of seven seasons with the Rockies, Rangers, Mets and Orioles. His reputation is that of a solid defender at both middle infield positions.

New York Mets, Brandon Hicks, Daniel Murphy, Omar Quintanilla, Ruben Tejada, Justin Turner