June 13, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Mets shortstop Omar Quintanilla (6) throws the ball to first for an out in the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. The Mets won 9-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

New York Mets Send Omar Quintanilla to Orioles for Cash

Well, I can’t say I’m too surprised by this move. After filling in at shortstop admirably once Ruben Tejada, Ronny Cedeno, and Justin Turner all went down with injuries, the Mets have dealt Omar Quintanilla to the Baltimore Orioles for cash or future considerations.

With these injuries happening in a short period of time, the shortstop position, arguably the most important position on the baseball diamond, had become a revolving door. Terry Collins made a call to Triple-A manager Wally Backmanand asked about Omar Quintanilla. Backman told Collins that Quintanilla was his MVP at that point in the season, combining solid defense and hitting .282/.345/.494.

Even though Quintanilla is a career .306/.368/.448 hitter in the minor leagues, he had struggled during his time in the big leagues, and his .218/.278/.294 triple slash made him mostly a defensive replacement. However, Terry Collins needed a veteran to step in and play every day, providing solid defense, so Quintanilla was the best choice. What he did for the Mets at the plate this season far surpassed any expectations.

In 29 games and 70 at-bats in 2012, Quintanilla hit .257/.350/.371 with five doubles, eight walks, and 13 runs scored. If he didn’t slump right before Cedeno and Tejada returned to the team, he would have been hitting over .300. There aren’t enough words to describe what he did while the Mets front line starters were on the disabled list.

Yes, he didn’t tear it up, but giving that stability in the field and holding his own at the plate was much more than Collins and the coaching staff could have asked from him. He was recently designated for assignment to make room on the roster for Jason Bay, which was inevitable. Once Tejada returned to the lineup, Quintanilla’s playing time went down considerably, as he’d only appeared in two games since the calendar flipped to July.

Making this move for cash considerations begs to ask the question as to whether the Mets are preparing to make a deal with another team and need some extra money to finance the move and pay that player’s salary. According to Adam Ruben of ESPN New York, he believes that the amount of cash the Mets will receive from the Orioles is north of $20,000, which he believes is what teams pay for a waiver fee.

Now that Brandon Lyon is off the trade block after he was traded with J.A. Happ to the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday, the Mets must shift their focus to other available relievers, mainly thinking about Jonathan Broxton, Brett Myers (although they reportedly have no interest in him), Huston Street, or Grant Balfour. However, it looks more and more like Broxton should be their main focus; Street is reportedly too expensive for the Mets, and with the A’s recent hot streak, Billy Beane may not be as willing to do his yearly salary dump.

So, it remains to be seen what Sandy Alderson will do, but we can at least speculate that the Amazins are a little closer to making a deal if they’re looking for some extra cash.

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Tags: Brandon Lyon Brett Myers Grant Balfour Huston Street J.A. Happ Jonathan Broxton Justin Turner MLB Trade Deadline MLB Trade Rumors New York Mets Omar Quintanilla Omar Quintanilla Traded To Orioles Ronny Cedeno Ruben Tejada

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