After getting eliminated from the postseason, many of us assumed the Mets would be active players in free agency this winter. But we’re already getting a taste of just how active they’ll be.
The offseason is only two days old at the time of this writing. So far, New York has signed Edwin Diaz to a record-breaking contract for relief pitchers. They’re also rumored to be interested in pursuing one of the most dynamic players available: shortstop Trea Turner.
Buzz over the last 24 hours has been that the Mets really like Trea Turner and could make a run at the offensive weapon.
Adding a player like Turner would give the Mets a ton of versatility offensively and defensively.
— Michael Mayer (@mikemayer22) November 7, 2022
This has understandably caused quite a stir on #MetsTwitter. Turner is the kind of position player that’d fit perfectly into what New York is doing these days.
He’s a primary shortstop, but could just as easily slide over to second base. It’s been a while, but he’s also spent time in center field as a big leaguer. That’s good because we all know Francisco Lindor isn’t moving off his position any time soon (nor should he).
If Trea Turner were to play second base, it’d slide 2022 MLB batting champion, Jeff McNeil, into more of an official utility role with a focus on the outfield. That’d also mean Starling Marte would probably spend more time in center field.
From an offensive standpoint, Turner would be another top-of-the-order bat to pair with Marte in front of Lindor, McNeil, Pete Alonso, and friends. He’s fresh off two straight seasons of at least 6.0 fWAR, which has also included 20-plus homers and 20-plus steals.
Is the Mets’ rumored interest in employing him just posturing or legitimate?
Recent reports have suggested New York has Diaz and Nimmo at the top of its offseason wishlist. Now that Diaz is set, is general manager Billy Eppler turning his focus to the organization’s homegrown outfielder? That’s probably one of his focuses, but this could also signal a couple of things.
One would imagine the Mets would like to officially retain a handful of their internal free agents before the exclusive negotiating window closes Thursday at 5 pm EST. And one would also imagine that re-signing Nimmo before this deadline would be ideal.
However, there are some variables likely to prevent that. Nimmo is a Scott Boras client and is among the top available players in the center field market. There are many teams in need of a true center fielder. Boras probably won’t pass on having his client field multiple offers to drive up the price of his next contract.
This could also mean Boras has shared the wishes for him and his client, and the Mets aren’t comfortable with where those numbers are at. Instead of overpaying for Nimmo, maybe they’d opt for a different player altogether. The thing here, though, is Turner will command a higher payday. Like, about double.
Jon Heyman of the New York Post had an outside expert predict Turner’s next contract. It came in at nine years and $275 million. Maybe the Mets would rather use all that money to pursue a player they feel can fill the same needs as Nimmo, but with more versatility.
Who knows, but New York’s rumored interest in the 29-year-old is certainly intriguing. Especially since he said back in July that his favorite road ballpark is Citi Field. Oh, and Jacob deGrom would be his dream teammate so he didn’t have to face him:
You could hear the pain in Trea Turner’s voice every time he complimented pitchers 🤣 pic.twitter.com/RwzSRnkO89
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) July 6, 2022
We also can’t forget that Turner categorized himself as an “East Coast guy” when discussing his upcoming free agency not long ago.
The Mets are already showing they want to strike quickly in free agency. While re-signing Nimmo is probably the ideal situation, his status will at least linger into the early weeks of the offseason. If there’s an internal Mets free agent with a chance to sign before the negotiating window ends, it’d be deGrom.
Either way, we already knew New York wasn’t playing around. Potentially throwing a hat into the Trea Turner sweepstakes would be just more proof of that.