Mets free agent face-off: Justin Turner vs. J.D. Martinez

Who is the better DH fit for the Mets?

Houston Astros v Boston Red Sox
Houston Astros v Boston Red Sox / Paul Rutherford/GettyImages
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The pros of signing J.D. Martinez

There isn't a better pure DH available than Martinez. The Los Angeles Dodgers let him go in favor of Shohei Ohtani which is probably the only acceptable replacement they could have possibly come up with. Martinez may be getting older but still a few birthdays behind Turner and no real signs of slowing down, he could be the punch this lineup needs.

In his age 35 season in 2023, Martinez put up some monstrous numbers for the Dodgers. In only 113 games he managed to hammer 33 home runs and drive in 103 runs. He added in a .271/.321/.572 slash line to make sure everyone knows he wasn’t just swinging for the fences.

As far as offense goes, Martinez is much more of the number five hitter the Mets need to add than Turner. His power is unquestionably good.

The cons of signing J.D. Martinez

Martinez is no longer a player we’d see on defense at all with the exception of a rare absolute emergency. Turner is someone the Mets could turn to for help at third base if they smell smoke. You don’t put Martinez out there until you can actually feel your flesh melting. 

Questions of his health are actually greater. He slowed down in 2022 due to back issues but did manage to accumulate just under 600 plate appearances. Last season he missed a bit more time, logging 479 trips to the plate by season’s end.

Because of his age, the Mets may be forced into a deal longer than just a season. Martinez rightfully earned a contract for at least two years. The $10 million the Dodgers paid him last year will look like a bargain by the time he signs his next deal. Do the Mets really want to commit a bunch of dollars and more than a year to someone who’ll only hit?