UPDATED by Danny Abriano, 8:56 PM:
Both of these moves come as surprises.
Turner, 28, wasn’t a big piece of the club, but he was an inexpensive option who could play multiple positions. Perhaps the Mets feel they can use one of their internal options to fill Turner’s utility role, but this move came out of nowhere.
Hefner, 27, is likely to miss the entire 2014 campaign after undergoing Tommy John Surgery. However, he was due to make only $500,000 next season. Quality back end starters can cost substantially more than Hefner (see Jason Vargas), so the fact that the Mets non-tendered him is a bit puzzling.
Relief pitcher Scott Atchison and shortstop Omar Quintanilla have been granted their free agency by the Mets. Both were informed they would not be tendered offers for the upcoming season. They are now free to sign with any club, and can even re-sign with the Mets, but clearly at reduced rates.
Right-hander Scott Atchison, 37, earned $700,000 last season. He was twice sidelined with injuries during the 2013 season. Otherwise, he posted a 4.37 ERA in 45.1 innings pitched. He surrendered 45 hits, walked 12 and struck out 28 batters.
Omar Quintanilla, 32, took over at shortstop on May 30th, once the Mets became displeased with Ruben Tejada, and demoted him to Las Vegas. Omar had 70 hits in 315 at-bats last season, for a .222 batting average, which made his .306 OBP appear somewhat representative. The move perhaps solidifies Ruben Tejada‘s return to shortstop next season, as the club has so far been unable to secure an alternative in the free agent market. I’m sure money factored into the decision to non-tender Quintanilla, as MLBTR projected his potential 2014 salary at upwards of $900,000 dollars.
To that I say – it’s about time! I wondered all month why Valdespin was still tethered to the 40-man roster. He played five positions last season, and is a master of none. He was also widely disliked in the clubhouse. He wasn’t even arbitration eligible yet. That speaks volumes.
By non-tendering Atchison, Quintanilla, and Valdespin, the Mets reduced their 40-man roster to 37 players.
The Winter Meetings will run from December 9th through the 12th, and will culminate with the Rule-V draft.