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Thursday, February 14, 2013
Quintanilla picked Mets over O's

By Adam Rubin

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Infielder Omar Quintanilla said his primary decision concerning where to sign this offseason came down to his two employers from 2012 – the Mets and Baltimore Orioles.

He chose to sign a minor league deal back with the Mets, who had traded him for cash last July 20 when they needed a 25-man roster spot for Jason Bay, who was returning from the disabled list.

“I loved playing here. The chemistry between the manager and the guys was perfect,” Quintanilla said Thursday morning. “I like the guys here. What else can I say? I want to keep playing and they wanted me back.”

Quintanilla, 31, probably is ticketed for Triple-A Las Vegas to start the season as middle-infield insurance, but he technically is competing with former Oakland Athletics infielder Brandon Hicks, who is on the 40-man roster. Quintanilla also could sneak onto the roster if Justin Turner is considered an outfielder, but that does not seem like the most likely scenario.

Quintanilla played steady defense for the Mets last season while hitting .257 with one homer in 70 at-bats. He then contributed to Baltimore, including starting 27 games at second base and two games at shortstop while Robert Andino (shoulder) and Brian Roberts (hip) nursed injuries.

“We had a good run down there,” Quintanilla said. “This is a business and you don’t know where you’re going to end up the next year. Fortunately I have a job and I’ll take full advantage of it.”