One of the biggest priorities the New York Mets will have this offseason will be addressing the shortstop position. But if they can’t find anyone outside the organization, is it possible for the Mets to bring back veteran Omar Quintanilla to be their shortstop in 2014?
Heading into the 2013 season, it appeared as if Ruben Tejada would be their shortstop for the foreseeable future, but he struggled both offensively and defensively during the first two months of the season and has not played in the big leagues since going to the disabled list at the end of May, despite recovering from his injury. In stepped Quintanilla who has been the Mets’ shortstop ever since and has been a contributor to the team’s success over the past two months.
Quintanilla shouldn’t be at the top of the Mets’ shortstop wish list, but they’ve done well with him in the lineup, so he should at least be considered a possibility to come back next season. He’s too old to be a long-term solution for the Mets, but his performance next season should be on par with what he’s done this season, which has been enough for the Mets to be competitive over the past two months.
Quintanilla does play deeper in the hole than most shortstops, but he is a competent defensive player and makes all the plays he should. He has also proven to be a bit of a streaky hitter, but the Mets have rarely asked him to hit anywhere outside of eighth in the order this season, which is a spot that suits him well.
This is not to say that the Mets shouldn’t pursue better options at shortstop during the offseason, but reliable and consistent shortstops are usually difficult to find. The Mets will know what to expect out of Quintanilla if they bring him back, and they also know they have another shortstop in Tejada with some major league experience that could step in if things don’t work out with Quintanilla. It may not be ideal, but the Mets could do a lot worse than Quintanilla as their shortstop in 2014.