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New York Mets Sign John Lannan to Minor League Deal

January 18th, 2014 at 8:10 PM
By Mike Phillips

The New York Mets have been looking for rotation depth throughout the winter. With two holes in the rotation after injuries to Matt Harvey and Jeremy Hefner knocked them out for the entire 2013 season, the Mets had to look to free agency to upgrade. The Mets made a big splash in filling one of their holes, signing Bartolo Colon to a two year deal worth 20 million dollars. The other spot was always going to go to a camp competition between Jenrry Mejia, prospects Rafael Montero and Jacob DeGrom, and a veteran arm to be named later. When reports that the Mets were going to re-sign Daisuke Matsuzaka came out earlier in the week, it indicated that the team was looking to add a low cost veteran starting pitcher quickly. Even though the Dice-K rumors were proven to be false, the Mets did reach a deal with lefty John Lannan, ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reports.

'Washington Nationals starting pitcher John Lannan (31)' photo (c) 2011, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Lannan, 29, was a target of the Mets last winter before opting to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies. Lannan went 3-6 with a 5.33 ERA for Philadelphia in 2013, his first stop after a successful six year run with the Washington Nationals. Lannan is a ground ball pitcher who should fare better at Citi Field than he did in hitter friendly Citizen's Bank Park, and he signed a minor league deal with the Mets to try and earn a spot in the major league rotation. Lannan will be invited to spring training to compete for the fifth starter's spot, and he has to be considered a co-favorite alongside Mejia to win a job. Lannan could add a veteran left handed presence to the back of the rotation, and he has the ability to eat some innings. Lannan also could buy the Mets time to let prospects such as Montero and Noah Syndergaard get more seasoning at the minor league level as well as provide depth in the rotation.

The Mets also announced that they have re-signed shortstop Omar Quintanilla to a minor league deal. Quintanilla, who was non-tendered back in November, is clearly a good depth piece in the eyes of the organization. Quintanilla could earn a spot on the Opening Day roster as a backup shortstop if the Mets don't make any more external additions, a la Stephen Drew. If the Mets do surprise the baseball world and add Drew as their shortstop, Quintanilla could also serve as valuable organizational depth at the minor league level.

Tags: Baseball, John Lannan, MLB, New York, New York Mets, Omar Quintanilla

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