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Hoffmann signs with New York Mets

November 21, 2012
Jim Bastian - Journal Sports Writer ( , The Journal

NEW ULM - It will be a happy Thanksgiving for Jamie Hoffmann.

On Tuesday, Hoffmann signed a one-year contract with the New York Mets.

"I am excited," Hoffmann said. "I had an up and down year last year (with the Baltimore Orioles organization), but as soon as free agency opened up which for me was about a week and a half ago, we have been talking to teams ever since. I am pumped up to get this opportunity."

Hoffmann said that he did talk to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Miami Marlins and with the Los Angeles Angels.

"The Angels did talk to me but I had already signed with the Mets," he said.

Hoffmann said that "familiarity and opportunity" were the two factors in his inking a contract with the Mets.

"I have played for their manager Terry Collins and when they called me they said that they had an opportunity. That is what I was looking for - an opportunity. It looked like the best place to get it so that's why I signed there."

Hoffmann said that he would he going to the Mets' major league spring training camp.

"Where it goes from there is for me to decide and see what happens," he said. "All that I can look for is an opportunity to play and hopefully have a good spring."

He said that he did not have any qualms about being a free agent after his one year contract with the Orioles.

"I was able to shop around and see what happens," he said. "But there is always a little bit of worry in your mind when you do not have a job. But at the same time I heard back from some people real early [in free agency] so that was pretty reassuring. It made me feel good about it."

Hoffmann said that there are some players on the Mets whom he knows from the past.

"And we played against them in AAA last year," he said. "Baseball gets to be a smaller world the longer that you are in it. You know people and are always watching games."

He said that he does not know the exact reporting date for him for spring training.

"They have not told me yet but I will go down earlier - probably the end of January - since I did not play any winter ball this year."

And not playing winter ball has revitalized Hoffmann, who played last winter in Venezuela.

"I feel great," he said. "I think that taking off a winter is something that I should have done earlier. I had never actually taken a winter off - this is my first one so we will see how it goes in spring training."



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