The 39-year-old infielder is a free agent this offseason and it would make a ton of sense to bring him back to Queens on a potential multi-year deal he is looking for. Here are some reasons on what makes Turner a great fit for his former team.
Why Justin Turner Should be a Met Again
More Infield Depth After Losing Ronny Mauricio
On Dec. 12, 2023, it was announced that Mauricio suffered a torn ACL while playing in a Dominican Winter League game. The injury occurred on Dec. 10 while Mauricio was running the bases. It’s very likely he will need surgery, which could prevent him from playing at all in 2024.
Obviously, this is a significant heart-breaker for the Mets and Mauricio himself as he was set to compete for the starting third base position. While the team still has a few third base “in-house” options, as president of baseball operations David Stearns called it, the loss of Mauricio could elevate pressure on some players.
For example, if the Mets decide to go with either Brett Baty or Mark Vientos at the hot corner, some fans might get worried. That’s because both of them struggled last season. Baty’s 2023 statistics offensively don’t look so great. He had a .212 batting average in 108 games played after being given the starting third base job. That’s on top of 10 errors committed on the field. Last season in August, he was sent down to Triple-A to regroup after those struggles. When he returned to the big leagues, he still wasn’t quite doing well at the plate.
As for Vientos, he showed more power than Baty, but he hasn’t shown much production in the big leagues. His 2023 average is .211 with four errors committed on the field. Although he was in the lineup most of the time to face left-handed pitchers, which caused him to be on the bench more often, he hasn’t been able to produce much.
So, here is where Turner comes in. If the Mets sign him, he can and should be the guy who steps up as the starting third baseman. Now, nobody knows if Mauricio would’ve won the third base job, but given that Turner is a veteran with so much experience in the big leagues, he deserves a shot to help his former team at a position that many fans thought would be addressed. If he is on the team and doesn’t start, then that would be a different story, although either way he provides the infield depth that the Mets need.
More Designated Hitter Depth
In addition to the infield, Turner has the potential to be a good designated hitter option for the Mets.
After parting ways with Daniel Vogelbach, the team should consider Turner as Vogelbach’s replacement if he doesn’t play the majority of third base. He hit 23 home runs while DHing for the Boston Red Sox last season on top of a .276 average. Vogelbach hit 13 home runs with a .233 average last season. So it will surely be an upgrade at the designated hitter position if the Mets go that route if they sign him.
Turner’s Overall Presence
Well, Turner may have had a rough go of it statistically with the Mets from 2010-2013, but he has definitely emerged as a much better player since. Mets fans should know how he did with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He became better offensively and he played many positions in the infield. Overall, it’s all about the depth he provides anywhere because of how good he has become and he is a veteran.
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