New York Mets rumors are already beginning. It must be the offseason. While the World Series continues on, players from other teams are already thinking about the future. This includes ex-Mets infielder Justin Turner. He is awaiting a decision from the Los Angeles Dodgers on whether or not they’ll pick up his option for 2023.
Turner, who hit .278/.350/.438 with 13 home runs and 81 RBI last season in 532 plate appearances, is a potential free agent this offseason ahead of his age 38 campaign. It’s not an ideal age to hit the open market. Turner has already made a lot of money, though, and would probably be looking at the best opportunity to play and win.
If it’s not with the Dodgers he stays, could we see some Mets rumors about where he ends up? When asked about a possible return to the Mets, Turner didn’t shut down the idea. At least he doesn’t hate it.
Mets rumors: Could Justin Turner fit in on the roster next year?
Turner played almost as many games as a DH last year as he did at third base. It’s the trajectory his career is going. Fortunately, if these Mets rumors are going to come true, the DH spot is precisely where he would fit in.
The Mets were in desperate need for a right-handed DH last year. They never found one. While Turner would probably prefer to play much more than as the right-handed half of a platoon with Daniel Vogelbach, there’s no guarantee Vogey is even with the team again in 2023. Turner might be a DH option to consider.
There is one minor question about his presence. The Opening Day third baseman for the Mets should be Brett Baty or Eduardo Escobar. Turner gives them yet another third baseman. Are things starting to get a little too cluttered?
Turner could probably play a little bit of first base if needed to give Pete Alonso some days off. He might actually be the best defensive third baseman on the roster if the Mets did sign him. Escobar had a bad year with his glove in 2022. Baty’s abilities as a fielder remain questionable. Turner was worth -0.3 WAR on defense but some major regressions could take place if he’s out there more regularly and another season closer to 40.
Immediately upon seeing this news on Turner, the feeling is mutual. Turner doesn’t hate the idea of returning to the Mets. I don’t hate the idea of it either. It seems a little too “out there” at the moment for anyone to start drawing up starting lineups for next season including him. If he has anything left, we can expect the Dodgers to keep him anyway.