The New York Mets are interested in bringing back veteran third baseman, as first reported by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
Turner and the Mets are reportedly far apart when it comes to the parameters of a deal while the Milwaukee Brewers are also interested. For now, the Los Angeles Dodgers retaining the 36-year-old is believed to be the most likely scenario.
Mets team president Sandy Alderson has made it known throughout the offseason that he is less than impressed with the club’s current situation, especially when it comes to defense. JD Davis is projected as the Opening Day starter despite having a career defensive-runs saved mark of -19 in 110 games at the hot corner.
While Turner’s better days are behind him — he has a career mark of 22 DRS at third base — his combined -4 DRS over the last two seasons are considerably better than what Davis could offer.
After three-plus seasons and a messy split-up with where he was nothing more than a utility infielder, the Mets let Turner walk to the Dodgers in 2014 where he developed into a star. Over the last seven seasons, he’s been one of the better natural hitters in the game, slashing .302/.382/.503 (.886 OPS) with 116 home runs and 406 RBI.
In 42 games last season, he slashed .307/.400/.460 with four home runs and 23 RBI on his way to helping the Dodgers win their first World Series in 32 years. Against the Tampa Bay Rays in the Fall Classic, Turner batted .320 with a 1.066 OPS over the six-game series.
If the Mets make progress and bring back Turner, Davis is suddenly an attractive trade chip that can be used to find one more starting pitcher to bolster the rotation. While he struggled mightily in the shortened 2020 season, Davis excelled in his first real chance at regular playing time in the majors with the Mets in 2019, slashing .307/.369/.527 with 22 home runs and 57 RBI in 140 games.
Even if Turner and the Mets can’t find common ground, Davis could also be dangled in hypothetical trade packages that could net New York a more well-rounded third baseman along with a starting pitcher.
For example, the Mets and Cincinnati Reds spoke in January about a deal involving slugging third baseman Eugenio Suarez and starting pitcher Sonny Gray.