Thoughts on trading Justin Turner

This past week, rumors bounced around about the idea of trading utility-man Justin Turner. It was reported that the Mets would not necessarily shop around Turner, but that they would listen to any offers that came along. On the one hand, trading Turner would make sense for a multitude of reasons, however Turner does offer some value in certain situations.

The Mets may have a legitimate roster crunch. The combination of signing Latroy Hawkins, Pedro Feliciano, Scott Atchison and Brandon Lyon will take up a lot of roster spots if they all perform well in Spring Training. Since it’s not unlikely that those players will perform well in Spring Training, the Mets will probably need to consider sending some players to the minors. Turner is likely to be one of the players left off the 40-man roster because the Mets have been adamant about having Omar Quintanilla and Brandon Hicks as infield backups. It would be pretty wasteful to have Turner in the minors, considering that the Mets would have to pay him pretty close to the Major League price.

Considering that the Mets outfield has a lot of problems, trading Turner for another outfielder is plausible. Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson is obviously not going to get a lot in return for Turner because he is a replacement-level infielder who derives most of his value from his flexibility in the infield. Offensively, Turner doesn’t offer much — he’s a low-power, low-OBP type of player. However, a replacement-level outfielder for Turner is plausible. A replacement-level outfielder may not provide a lot of offensive value, but if he’s a good enough outfielder, he could potentially help alleviate Lucas Duda’s horrible fielding in the outfield.

The thing the Mets might miss if they trade Turner is that he does provide a lot of flexibility. He mainly plays second and third base, however he can play short and first base if the situation arises. That’s something that can be taken for granted if an injury arises. Reports from Spring Training have also stated that Turner has been working out in the outfield, which will increase his value and add flexibility. Even though his defense in the outfield will probably mirror something similar to Lucas Duda, the Mets need all the help in the outfield they can get.

Turner does have some legitimate value that derives from his ability to play many positions, and his bat for a utility man is not too shabby. In 263 plate appearances for the Mets, Turner hit a line of .269/.319/.392. This line would probably not have a lot of value for an everyday player, but there’s something to be said for a utility man who can hit well above the Mendoza line.

Alderson has two options when it comes to trading Turner. If the four relievers that he signed can provide some value for the bullpen, then Alderson should probably flip Turner for some sort of fringe outfielder who can help alleviate defensive troubles in the outfield. However, the other option would be that if the four relievers don’t work out, Alderson should hold onto Turner. Considering that he’s a utility man who can for the most part play any infield position, Turner could prove valuable in the event that one of the starters goes down. Yet, what sets Turner apart is that he can hit better than most utility guys, making it better to keep him if the Mets have space for him.

9 comments for “Thoughts on trading Justin Turner

  1. JimO
    February 24, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    I’d be concerned that we lose Murphy for an extended period time and lose Turner as another option at 2nd.

  2. Rev. Al
    February 24, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    we would also lose the pie in the face guy.


  3. Name
    February 24, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    I don’t think Feliciano will be ready or even deserves an opening day slot even if he is healthy. Keep him at Triple-A for a while to see if his arm can actually hold up.
    Omar is probably destined for Triple-A unless Alderson decides to kick Hicks off the roster, which i don’t see.
    If Turner is traded up straight for someone, it wouldn’t help the roster crunch at all. The only way to free up a roster spot is to DFA or do a 2 for 1 trade or trade for someone not on the 40-man(but that’s probably not worth it in that case)

  4. February 24, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    I don’t see Turner has having any meaningful value on the trade market. They should just wish him luck, and release him.

    • February 24, 2013 at 5:03 pm

      Releasing him doesn’t really solve anything, he’s a really good utility-man and if they can get a replacement level defense oriented outfielder for him that would be a win. But if not they may as well keep him because you are not really going to find a utility man who can hit as well as he does.

      • February 24, 2013 at 9:42 pm

        I believe he has an option left. They could send him to the minors this year if they are unable to work out a deal.

  5. jerseymet
    February 24, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    I do not understand the low regard for Turner. He has been an excellent player for the Mets. He is clutch. He is a proven right handed bat in an organization of leftys. Keep him play him.

    • February 25, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      He really seemed to be the go-to guy whenever it was late…
      His numbers weren’t good late and close last year, but they were good in tie games and with RISP and 2 outs.

  6. Metsense
    February 25, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Justin Turner is one of my favorite Mets and I have been on his bandwagon from the beginning.
    NL Avg Second Baseman: 13 HR, 66 RBI, .713 OPS
    Murphy: 6 HR, 65 RBI, .735 OPS -9.0 UZR
    Turner: 2 HR, 19 RBI, .711 OPS 0.0 UZR
    Valdespin: 8 HR, 26 RBI, .710 OPS 0.2 UZR
    Turner is an average NL secondbaseman. He is not a backup shortstop because of defense or a backup corner infielder because of lack of power. The issue of Justin Turner should have been addressed at the winter meetings and I fault Alderson for his lack of action. Had the Mets traded Murphy the impact on the lineup would have been minimal. Turner and Valdespin could have shared 2B. Both are average and JV brings a litle speed and power to the position. The best hitting prospect is Flores and he should be groomed at AAA in 2013 to be the starting 2B in 2014. Murphy would have brought more (especially in a package) than a fringe outfielder and outfielders were the Mets need this winter. Turner really doesn’t fit into the team now and his value is even less as Sring Training progresses. I’m pretty sure he has an option but it is a shame the front office has painted themselves into a corner on the Turner issue.

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