Trea Turner Odd Fit For Mets

Looking at the New York Mets, there’s surprisingly a lot of work to do for a 101 win roster. Aside from having to completely rebuild a pitching staff, the Brandon Nimmo free agency complicates matters.

With Nimmo a free agent, the Mets need to re-sign him or get creative (which never ends well). Aside from that, re-signing Nimmo of not, the Mets have to address their relative lack of power.

On both of these fronts, there are rumors the Mets have interest in Trea Turner. While Turner is a great player, it doesn’t make much sense.

Look, Turner is a great player, and if you have an opportunity to add him to your roster, you do it. However, you have to ask why Turner fits with the Mets and whether the money can be better invested (i.e. Nimmo).

Start with Francisco Lindor being entrenched at short. Lindor is younger and a better defender. You’re not moving him for Turner leading to find him another position. With Turner being 29 and already declining defensively, that’s probably a good idea anyway.

In terms of CF, Turner hasn’t played the position since 2016. That effectively means he’s not an option there. This is also where things get slightly complicated for the Mets.

Arguably, the versatility of Jeff McNeil permits the signing of Turner. However, that may create more problems than it solves.

Turner has never played third in his career, and the Mets seem resolute in never playing McNeil there again. As a result, this does nothing to solve the Mets third base issues (which may eventually be Brett Baty anyway).

Turner sparingly played second in 2021 and was quite good. That would force McNeil to left or right, which is also fine because he’s a slightly above average corner outfielder.

Moving McNeil to left also is what causes a problem for the Mets.

Shifting McNeil to a corner spot forces Starling Marte to center. That is something the Mets specifically sought to avoid when they signed Marte. In fact, if that was their plan, they would’ve had Nimmo play right field last year.

Marte was already declining defensively in center, and his sprint rate was dropping. Moreover, he’s a bit injury prone making center a problematic position for him for the long term.

This would also have the Mets looking to play Mark Canha everyday again. Playing everyday goes to the heart of the Mets power issue.

Canha slugged .403 last year and has slugged .397 over the last three years. As a fourth outfielder/platoon option, he’s phenomenal depth. As an everyday player, there are some issues.

On the power front, Turner would solve their problems a bit even if he is not who is was in 2020 when he posted career bests in exit velocity and barrels. As an aside, his exit velocities have trended down since that 2020 season.

Keep in mind, Turner will be 30. He’s nearing the end of his prime, and he’s already showing some signs of decreased production. No, this does not mean his prime is over or that he won’t be great.

Rather, it’s a warning. We don’t know how well he’ll age or how many years remain in his prime. We just know he’s showing signs he should move off short sooner rather than later and that the power has a very slight dip.

Taking it all into account, the Mets have to ask whether Turner is worth it. Arguably, signing him means they part ways with one of Nimmo or Jacob deGrom. Maybe both.

Moreover, while it helps with the power (and certainly the speed), the Mets have to ask if that’s enough. That does double when you consider Nimmo is the only everyday CF on the market. Does signing Turner over Nimmo actually make the Mets better?

Of course, we shouldn’t discount that this is Steve Cohen. If he can sign deGrom, Nimmo, and Turner, he will. If he can do that, the Mets would be scary, and you’ll be hard pressed to come up with reasons why they won’t win the World Series.

Short of signing all three, it would seem Turner makes the least amount of sense for the Mets especially considering the real gaps in the rotation and center.