No New York Met has ever won the MVP award, and from the look of things none will this year either. However there are two ex-Mets who have a real good shot this time, Justin Turner and Daniel Murphy, and it is at least a possibility they could finish one-two in the voting.
After a stint with the Mets, Turner joined the Dodgers in 2014, He has been a tremendous force since then, especially the current season. In 65 games his slash line is .377/.473/.583. He is leading the NL in the first two categories, and is fifth in SLG. He is an above average fielder at third base, Fangraphs shows his UZR at 2.7 this season, and 14.1 in 2006. Since he returned from a stint on the DL, he and the Dodgers have been on fire.
Murphy started off in the Mets organization, then signed with Washington in 2016. He had a monster season that year with the Nats, and he finished second in the MVP voting. This year he has been nearly as good, sporting a .342/.393/.572 slash line after 82 games, he is second in the League in batting and first in doubles with 29. His defense at second base is suspect, but then he does provide way more offensive production than is normal for that premium position.
Turner’s last year with the Mets was 2013, when he produced a .280/.319/.385 slash line in 86 games. Pretty good, but not great numbers, especially since he was versatile defensively, as the Mets used him all around the infield. However, the Mets did not offer him a contract, and he signed a Minor League (ouch!) deal with the Dodgers, in what turned out to be a great bargain for them.
Murphy’s last year with the Mets was memorable. Although he started off slowly, he was awesome with the bat for the last month of the season, then was even more awesome in the NLDS and NLCS as he was a key cog in that pennant-winning run. He set a postseason record with homers in six consecutive games, and was MVP of the NLCS. His contract was up that season, and he wanted a long term deal. The Mets made a qualifying offer, but they made no real effort to offer him a three or four year deal, and Murphy ended up signing with the Nats in what has also turned out to have been a great bargain for them.
Both players made swing adjustments that paid great dividends. After his Met tenure Turner tweaked his swing in the off-season, much to his benefit. Murphy also modified his swing, working with Met batting coach Kevin Long in 2015. He moved closer to the plate, changed his swing angle and went from a contact hitter to a contact hitter with power.
Fan reaction at the time was mixed in response to the Met’s failure to sign the two players. Reports at the time showed a reason Turner was not re-signed was a perceived lack of hustle. I checked back on some of the old Mets360 comments at the time, and some fans wanted him back for his flexibility, others thought Josh Satin was a better option. Satin was out of MLB after a poor 2014 season.
Some fans grumbled about the failure to sign Murphy (myself among them) others were satisfied by the acquisition of Neil Walker to play second. When he’s been on the field Walker has been ok, but is certainly not the slugger that Murphy is.
The Nats and Dodgers figure to win their respective divisions, which will help Turner and Murphy in their MVP candidacies. Buster Posey is having a great year, but playing for the last-place Giants will not help him. Corey Seager of the Dodgers and Bryce Harper of the Nationals are certainly contenders for the MVP, but at this point there is a good chance an ex-Met will win the MVP, with maybe the other ex-Met finishing second.