According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, the Mets have re-signed infielder Omar Quintanilla to a minor league deal.
Quintanilla fell into significant playing time with the Mets last season, as starting shortstop Ruben Tejada was basically a forgotten man following a quad injury in May. However, the 32-year-old did next to nothing with the opportunity, hitting just .222/.306/.283 over 359 plate appearances while rating below average defensively.
The Mets have expressed confidence this winter in giving Tejada another chance at the starting gig, though it’s still possible they’ll sign Stephen Drew. Quintanilla is fine depth to have at Triple-A, but if he winds up playing a big role again in 2014, that will likely mean that something has gone very wrong.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.