As Justin Turner heads into his first arbitration year, and with the Mets so desperate to change perceptions about the team and get them back on the path to relevancy, I was surprised to read this report from Andy Martino of the Daily News, which suggests the Mets are all but determined to bring him back to serve in the same role as he did this season.
A Mets source said that the team projects Turner to make less than $1 million next year, which it does not see as an overpay for Turner’s production… team officials have been impressed by his maturation as a hitter, ability to take a professional at-bat off the bench, and presence in the dugout and clubhouse.
Martino adds that the Mets admire how Turner always seems engaged in games, sometimes even talking strategy with Terry Collins when he isn’t playing. Behavior like that doesn’t win anyone a job, he writes, but when the team is making roster decisions, it doesn’t hurt, either.
It’s so odd that for a team that is in need of so many substantial changes and significant upgrades, that they would exhaust any energy in locking in one of essentially two utility infield spots. This likely doesn’t bode well for Josh Satin, who is likely the odd man out if Turner were to win one of those few, but valuable bench spots.
Turner, 28, batted .280/.319/.385 in 200 at-bats with two home runs, 20 runs scored and 16 RBI over 86 games for the Mets in 2013.