In an effort to add some middle infield depth behind projected starters Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy the Mets have signed Omar Quintanilla to a minor-league contract, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.
Once upon a time Quintanilla was a first-round pick and top prospect, but now he’s 30 years old with just 582 career plate appearances in the majors.
He’s also hit just .213 with a .552 OPS in that big-league action, which is particularly unimpressive considering most of it came in Colorado, but Quintanilla has consistently posted decent numbers at Triple-A and gives the Mets a shortstop alternative should Tejada struggle stepping into Jose Reyes’ shoes.
Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.
Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.
To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.