World Series Reminding Us Justin Turner Could Be Mets 2021 Third Base Option
The 2020 season only confirmed J.D. Davis isn’t an everyday player because he can’t field at all. With that being the case, the Mets need to find a new third baseman this offseason.
The first option could be Jeff McNeil, who was actually the Opening Day third baseman the past two years. The issue with him is despite his arm. His throws were erratic, which gives you pause before giving him the third base job.
With their being questions about whether Robinson Cano would be willing or able to move to third, that leaves the Mets looking outside the organization for a third base option.
There may be options on the trade market like Nolan Arenado, but with Brodie Van Wagenen needlessly stripping the farm of its best players, that’s much easier said than done. That probably leaves the free agent market where one name stands out above the rest.
We all know the idiocy and cheapness which led to Turner being non-tendered by the Mets. With the Wilpons gone, Steve Cohen can look to right this wrong and bring Turner back to Queens. As we saw last night, Turner can still play.
Turner with a big play! pic.twitter.com/mG2JCSYUgv
— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) October 21, 2020
In 2020, Turner had a poor -2 OAA rating. However, in the preceding year, he was a very good 4 OAA. Looking at his OAA on the whole, he’s been alternating good and bad seasons.
DRS paints a slightly different picture. From 2014 – 2018, Turner was a very good defensive third baseman. However, in the past two years there has been a drop off with him posting consecutive negative DRS seasons.
Taking the bigger picture, we see a player still capable of handling the position.
At the plate, Turner is still a very good hitter with a 140 wRC+. That’s an improvement over his 132 in 2019. Looking at his Baseball Savant stats, Turner posted very good to elite numbers in barrels, hard hit rates, and whiff percentage.
Overall, even at 35, Turner has remained a very good baseball player.
That’s somewhat of a problem. He’s 35, and he will soon turn 36 after the World Series. While his stats over the past few years indicate he could be a good bet in 2021, time and again, we have seen players in their late 30s lose it overnight.
With Turner, we may also see a player who may want to retire or just stay close to home. That would certainly be understandable. However, if he’s truly available and willing to return, the Mets should pounce.
Turner is in the unique position of entering the clubhouse as a guy who dealt with the ups and downs of New York. On that note, he can certainly help the young Mets core along the way.
Another thing Turner presents is he’s coming from the Dodgers. Fact is, the Dodgers do things better than everyone, maybe even the Rays. Turner knows exactly what the Mets don’t know.
Remember the Mets aren’t just trying to win the 2021 World Series. No, they’re going through with a complete organization overhaul. They’re trying to build a team who can compete each and every year just like the Dodgers.
The Dodgers just don’t have the most talent on the field or the deepest pockets. They also have access to the best analytics and technology. They know things no one knows.
With Turner being there from the beginning of this Dodgers regime, he also knows all of the information disseminated to players. He knows what’s worked, what hasn’t, and the best way to communicate the information to players.
No, he doesn’t know how the information was tabulated and analyzed. However, he knows it exists, and knowing the information exists really helps your organization seek it out. After all, you can’t look for something without knowing that something exists.
In the end, Turner on a short term deal solves the Mets 2021 third base issues. More than that, he helps your organization in their process of an analytical overhaul. All told, from a Mets perspective, Turner could be the most important free agent available on the market. As such, they should very seriously consider bringing him back to Queens.