Mets non-tender 5 ahead of midnight deadline

The New York Mets did not offer contracts to pitchers Jeremy

Hefner and Scott Atchison, infielders Omar Quintanilla and Justin

Turner, and utilityman Jordany Valdespin ahead of Monday night’s

deadline, making the five free agents.

Exploring the free-agent market, Mets general manager Sandy

Alderson also met Sunday with Curtis Granderson. New York wouldn’t

lose its first-round draft pick if it signs the outfielder because

the Mets draft 10th and the top 10 selections can’t be

forfeited.

Teams had until midnight to offer 2014 contracts to unsigned

players on their 40-man rosters. The Mets have seven remaining

arbitration-eligible players, including first baseman Ike Davis and

first baseman-outfielder Lucas Duda.

The 27-year-old Hefner went 4-8 with a 4.34 ERA before having

reconstructive elbow surgery in August.

Valdespin, 32, hit .188 with four homers and 16 RBIs in 66

games, but he rankled many in the organization with his immaturity

on and off the field.

Atchison, 37, only worked 45 1-3 innings because of injuries. He

was 3-3 with a 4.37 ERA.

Quintanilla, Turner and Valdespin were the Mets’ key backup

infielders this season.