Mets ink Easley for bench

Damion Easley will be coming off the New York Mets' bench in 2007, reportedly agreeing Thursday to a one-year contract with the club.

The 37-year-old Easley could fill the utility role formerly held by Chris Woodward, a free agent.

Easley, a 15-year major league veteran, played last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks, batting .233 (44-189) with nine home runs and 28 RBI in 90 games.

"Damion is a versatile guy who can play all over the field," Mets general manager Omar Minaya said. "He provides us with power coming off the bench, too. Damion Easley is the type of player who can help your club win games in so many different ways."

Signing Easley is the fourth transaction that Minaya accomplished this week during the GM meetings in Naples, Fla.

Earlier, the Mets re-signed free agents Orlando Hernandez and Jose Valentin, and on Wednesday the Mets acquired outfielder Ben Johnson and pitcher Jon Adkins from the San Diego Padres for pitchers Heath Bell and Royce Ring.

  • The Mets also completed a waiver claim on right-hander Jason Standridge Thursday from the Cincinnati Reds.

    Standridge, 28, appeared in 21 games for the Reds in 2006, going 1-1 with a 4.82 ERA. He is likely get a look in spring training as a candidate for the bullpen but could run into tight competition.

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