The New York Mets are reportedly interested in third baseman Justin Turner

The New York Mets showed the world that they are here to compete with the Trevor May and James McCann signings and the Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco trade. Yes, they failed to acquire their top targets, George Springer, Trevor Bauer or JT Realmuto, but they managed to improve an already good core and are now considered favorites in the NL East.

And the fact that the Mets couldn’t secure any of those three names means that they have the funds to go after one of the few remaining difference-makers in the market, which is third baseman Justin Turner.

Turner and the Mets have obvious history. When the organization got rid of him, he worked on his swing and exploded with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“Mets interested in free-agent 3B Justin Turner, but parties not matching up on years/dollars, sources tell The Athletic. NYM also not sure what J.D. Davis might bring in a trade. Brewers owner Mark Attanasio intrigued by Turner as well. Dodgers (2-year deal?) remain best bet,” was the report of Ken Rosenthal.

Turner would improve the Mets’ lineup, but is he absolutely necessary?

Of course, Turner would represent another above-average bat for an already great Mets lineup. He had a .307/.400/.460 line with a .376 wOBA and a 140 wRC+ in 2020 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and his .292/.369/.469 and career line and 130 wRC+ would fit in nicely anywhere.

The Mets are doing everything they can to replace JD Davis, who was a disappointment in 2020 with a .247/.371/.389 line and a 116 wRC+. However, it may not be fair to completely dismiss him, as he was still an above-average offensive performer and has the potential to bounce back with hitting coach Chili Davis available to help him.

The New York Mets signed Jonathan Villar on Tuesday, but he isn’t expected to be an everyday player. Turner, in the hypothetical case they are able to sign him, should be.

MLB News: The “Bubble” was a great success, Justin Turner, that’s another story

In this crazy coronavirus MLB season, no one knew if a baseball season could be completed, but miraculously was up to the very last game of the World Series. Still, then the bubble broke when the Los Angeles Dodger’s Justin Turner tested positive for the virus and was removed from the game. The irresponsible Turner returned to the after-game celebration wearing a mask but hugging players nonetheless.

After a preseason with the owners and players trying to decide how to conduct a season and if a season would be on the horizon, they bickered back and forth over the length of a season and how much who would be paid for what. At one point, it looked as though the sides weren’t going to come together, and there would be no baseball season at all.

At the last moment, Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred issued health protocols to protect players and implemented a 60 game season with players being paid full prorated salaries. During the second spring training (summer camp), the coronavirus raised its ugly head with the Miami Marlins getting hit hard with 20 players and staff became infected. Here’s the timeline:

March 11, 2020: Washington governor Jay Inslee, whose state has been hit the earliest and the hardest by COVID-19, announces a ban on large group gatherings through at least the end of March. This was the first indication that a baseball season, if there was one, might be played without fans in the stands.

March 12, 2020: MLB announces that spring training games are canceled as of 4 p.m. ET and that the regular season’s start has been pushed back two weeks. Opening Day had originally been scheduled for March 26. We all know that didn’t happen; the two-week push back ended up being months.

March 15, 2020: The Yankees confirm that a minor leaguer in their system has tested positive for coronavirus. The unnamed player becomes the first MLB-affiliated player to be a confirmed COVID-19 case. The team quarantines all minor leaguers for two weeks. As it turned out, the Yankees were among the few teams that remained mostly unaffected by the virus.

March 31: MLB announces extended financial support for minor league players. Those players will continue receiving weekly payments of $400 each through the end of May or until the start of the minor league season, whichever comes first. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that starting the 2020 season without fans in the stands is becoming an increasing possibility.

May 9: MLB reportedly narrows its focus to beginning the season in early July at as many standard home ballparks as possible. The aim would be a regular season of around 80 games followed by an expanded postseason. Schedules would be organized regionally to minimize travel and allow players to isolate themselves with their families in their home cities.

May 13: MLB submits protocols for player testing and safety to the union in a 67-page document.

May 20: The Miami Marlines and Tampa Bay Rays are amoung the first MLB teams to open their spring training facilities for work outs.

May 24: The Yankees and Mets  get the green light from Governor Mario Cuomo to hold spring training at their home stadiums.

June 15: Several Major League players and staff members test positive for COVID-19.

June 21: After the COVID-19 outbreaks at spring training sites,  MLB orders all spring training sites closed down on Friday night for disinfecting. Players must test negative before returning.

June 30: Minor League Baseball announces the cancelation of the 2020 season.

July 12: Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman tests positive for the coronavirus, and experiencing mild symptoms.  The Blue Jays reach out to their Triple-A team about about playing in Buffalo after Canadian Government does not allow them to play at Roger’s Center.  Jays eventually select Buffalo for their home games.

July 23: Yankees open the  2020 regular season on July 23, facing the Nationals in the nation’s capital, setting up a showdown of aces between Cole and Washington’s Max Scherzer. The Yankees win their first game of the season 4 – 1 over the World Champion Nationals.

July 27: The Miami Marlins experience a COVID-19 outbreak with a total 20 reported cases. As a result, the Marlins-Orioles and Yankees-Phillies game were canceled, and Miami’s 2020 season was temporarily put on hold. The league revises the 2020 schedule for NL East, AL East teams amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

July 31: The St. Louis Cardinals have two players test positive for COVID-19.  The 2020 schedule is altered again.

June and July: Several MLB players from several teams opt out of playing during the 2020 baseball season.

September 15: Major League Baseball announced plans for its 2020 postseason on Tuesday. After getting approval from the Players Association, the league announced it would hold the final three rounds of the playoffs — the Division Series, League Championship Series, and World Series — at neutral-site locations. Players will be housed nearby to set up one-location bubbles for each series. 

After a mostly free baseball season from the coronavirus, MLB installed the “bubble,” all series would be played in that bubble. Players would be allowed to house at team selected hotels with their wifes, but would only be allowed to leave the hotel to their respective stadiums. This was done with an abundance of caucion so not to interup the postseason players with coronavirus infections. The plan was marviously secussful as the MLB went 58 consecutive days without a reported outbreak.

That was until the very last game of the World Series when Los Angeles Dodger player Justin Turner was comfirmed to have tested positive. He was immediately removed from the game. But when the team won it’s first World Series since 1988, the infected Turner couldn’t resist celebrating with his team on the field after the game. Turner, with a mask nevertheless hugged his fellow teamates. He took off the mask for photos including the team photo with manager Dave Roberts was to his immediate right and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman was to his left, with only the World Series trophy between them. This only highlights how different people take the seriousness of the virus.

The future timeline for baseball and the coronavirus is unknown. But as coronavirus outbreaks spike in 40 states, the uncoming 2021 baseball season is not without questions.  Will there be a 162 game season, will fans be allowed in the stands.  So many questions to be answered, only time will tell.

 

 

Under Appreciated New York Mets: Justin Turner

Justin Turner is far more under-appreciated by the New York Mets organization than the fans themselves. He never quite received the playing time needed to blossom into the star he is now, and the Mets could have certainly used him when David Wright’s injuries caught up to him.

Turner came to the Mets as a waiver claim during the 2010 season. After only playing four games with the Mets, he played in 117 games where he hit .260 with four home runs. The power had not developed for him yet, but he was 4-for-10 as a pinch hitter.

Versatile Turner

Turner could play all four infield positions and even saw a little bit of time in left field with the Mets. Over the following two seasons with the Mets, he played in less than 100 games in each season and hit .275 with four homers during that time. Turner did muster 26 doubles during that time.

When the Mets parted ways with Turner by opting to not non-tender him, it came as a surprise. During his last month with the Mets in 2013, he hit .357/.357/.571, and it included the only home runs he hit with the Mets all season. He was beginning to transform into the Justin Turner that became a star with the Dodgers.

He was learning the hitting philosophy that made Marlon Byrd a vital member of the Mets lineup, and he was moved just to open up a roster spot. The idea that Turner had a “lack of effort” was a load of crap from Sandy Alderson. It just did not make sense because the Mets roster was lackluster. It had names like Ike Davis, Eric Young Jr., and Omar Quintanilla as their starters. Safe to say Turner was a better player than all three of them at the end of 2013.

The Mets Trash is Always Another Team’s Treasure

The rest of the story is well known, Turner heads to the Dodgers and excels there. He becomes an All-Star and one of the best clutch/postseason hitters in baseball. Turner tied his career-high mark of 27 home runs in 2019, has six straight seasons of a .490 slugging percentage or better. At age 35, it does not seem like he is slowing down anytime soon.

New York Mets: The Players of the Decade, Who Parted Ways Too Early

The New York Mets have a history of missing out on significant players when they happened to be on their roster. Through trades or merely cutting a player, here are the players the Mets gave up on too soon.

Travis d’Arnaud

d’Arnaud had initially been the prize piece in the R.A. Dickey deal, but he never panned out to be the top prospect praise he received. He hit .242 with 47 home runs during his seven seasons as a Met. After he started 2019 slow, the Mets released him, and he landed on the Dodgers before heading to the Rays five days later. He ended up breaking out to hit .263 with 16 home runs and 67 RBIs in Tampa. It resulted in him earning a two-year deal with the Braves during the offseason.

Daniel Murphy

Murphy cemented his place in Mets fans hearts when he dominated the 2015 postseason to lead the Mets to the World Series. In the World Series, he left fans with a bad taste in their mouths after he struggled to produce offensively and defensively. The Mets tried to bring Murphy back on a qualifying offer but did not offer him anything more.

Murphy ended up signing with the rival Nationals. Not only did he put together dominant seasons with the Nationals, but he torched his former team. Since Murphy left the Mets, he is hitting .355/.411/.650 with 12 homers and 44 RBIs against the Mets. The Mets replaced Murphy with Neil Walker, but he never put up numbers anywhere near Murphy’s.

Justin Turner

Turner might be the biggest miss the Mets had. He hit .265/.326/.370 as a Met, with very minimal power numbers. The Mets decided to let him go after the 2013 season, even though it looked like Turner started to become a good hitter. Turner hit .305 during his final two months with the Mets, but the organization never felt that he was an everyday player.

He went on to the Dodgers and has become a star. In his six years with the Dodgers, Turner is a .302 hitter, with 112 home runs, 168 doubles, one All-Star selection, and three top-15 MVP finishes. He has been even better during the postseason hitting .310 with nine homers over 54 playoff games.

Hansel Robles

In a year where the bullpen killed the Mets season, this one hurts. Robles always had a live arm and had two solid seasons to begin his Mets career. In 2017, things started to go downhill as the home run started to hurt him. The Mets put Robles on waivers in 2018 after he allowed seven home runs in 19.2 innings.

The Angles claimed Robles, and it seemed like everything turned out better in LA. Through a year and a half, he has a 2.64 ERA in 108 games, allowing only eight home runs with the Angels. He even emerged as the Angels closer, locking down 23 games in 2019.