Justin Turner has been a fan favorite in Queens since his crazy 20 RBI in May of 2011, and it was never doubted he would make the opening day roster two years in a row. he has definitely shown that he isn’t exactly consistent when he plays every day, but he will get it done on the bench. Every Mets fan can talk continuously about Turner and the confidence he brings every time he steps up to the plate. Due to Turner being a shoe-in for bench on the major league roster the Mets, instead of giving him slightly more than league minimum for his arbitration, Sandy Alderson should buy out the arbitration years and give him the Ryan Raburn treatment.
Why the Mets should buy out his arbitration years/give him a contract extension:
Most people will remember in 2011, Turner’s last stint as an everyday player, when he hit .350 with runners in scoring position (RISP) and an impressive .364 with two outs and RISP. Turner hit .295 with two outs in general. He would proceed to hit .293 with RISP and .280 with two outs and RISP in 2012. His numbers with RISP has taken a massive hit this season, but he still continues to hit in the clutch with an astounding .385 when the game is tied and a .315 average when the team is up or below by one run. Something that continues to be a lost art in baseball is the ability to avoid striking out and Turner’s 162 game average is STAT. The bottom line is that Turner has continued to find ways to perform in clutch situations, and while it seems Mike Baxter and Jordany Valdespin, have lost their magic Turner hasn’t stopped. He also deserves a little bit more love for almost tying the game against Craig Kimbrel but Jason Heyward completely robbed him.
Great Clubhouse Guy:
Since the moment he got to New York there has been much evidence that he is appreciated in the clubhouse and has always found a way to make people laugh, especially with his walk-up music Call Me Maybe. Having a good clubhouse is something that is overlooked but very important, just ask the Dodgers for the first 2+ months. The Mets plan to be competitive next year so why not keep Turner around and keep the clubhouse united.
When Turner first got the opportunity to play every day in 2011, he mostly played third base and second base with one game as shortstop, But in 201,2 he was suddenly starting at every position in the infield and only made two errors for the entire year. This season he has actually capitalized the opportunity to play the outfield even though he hasn’t had to do anything it still gives him six different positions that he could play (1B, 2B, SS, 3B, LF, and RF). That’s impressive. Josh Satin plans to do the same this offseason with the exception of shortstop.
Why the Mets shouldn’t buy out his arbitration years/give him a contract extension:
Stats Easily Replaced:
Even though Turner has been a great weapon that continuously proves to be great when he starts, he has never posted an OPS+ over 100. Turner has also not exactly been the doubles machine he was in 2011, and he never steals bases. Turner has also watched his OBP take a hit from his rookie year. Bottom line, almost anyone can find the same projected numbers off the bench if one were to search long enough.
There are multiple pros and not very many downsides to ultimately giving Turner a contract extension but the main focus will be if Turner can continue to perform at a high level off of the bench, as there are limited reasons to not giving him a bonus.