The Mets and president of baseball operations, David Stearns, still appear to be searching for at least one more bat to add to their ranks before the start of the 2024 campaign and a reunion with Justin Turner hasn’t been written off, as of yet.
Turner, 39, is nearing a decision on where he’ll call home this season, and it could come as soon as this week, according to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi.
The Mets had been in talks last month, per Mike Puma of the New York Post, but Stearns’ desire to add another bat has been wishy-washy. During the introductory press conferences of Harrison Bader and Luis Severino, he said that it wasn’t “essential,” though just days later, reports surfaced that they were considering a run at designated hitter and outfielder, Jorge Soler.
Should a bat be in the cards, Stearns could be looking to prioritize a corner-infielding option, at this point. The Mets have added Bader and Tyrone Taylor to an outfield mix that already features Brandon Nimmo, Starling Marte, and DJ Stewart — Jeff McNeil could also slot in a corner-outfield spot if necessary.
Third base appears to be even more uncertain, at this rate. With Ronny Mauricio out for likely the entire 2024 season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL earlier this month, the Mets’ hot-corner competition boils down to Brett Baty and Mark Vientos with veteran Joey Wendle as a utility option behind them.
At his age, Turner isn’t an everyday third-base option, but he is a rotational choice whose bat could provide serviceable contributions at the DH spot, too. Last season with the Boston Red Sox, he posted an .800 OPS with 23 home runs and 96 RBI.
By comparison, Mets third basemen last season combined to post a paltry .590 OPS with 14 home runs and 54 RBI. At the DH spot, New York used 15 different players to address the role, combining to post a .715 OPS with 30 home runs and 90 RBI.
Turner spent parts of four seasons with the Mets from 2010-2013 before developing into a two-time All-Star with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he spent nine seasons and slashed .296/.375/.490 (.886 OPS) from 2014-2022.