Justin Turner sits on the bench

Justin Turner drawing interest from other teams

Justin Turner is drawing interest from a number of teams and is expected to sign a new deal soon (Cotillo, Dec. 24).

The Mets non-tendered Turner in early December. He would have likely earned $800,000 next season through arbitration.

Turner’s propensity for not running hard irked the front office, a team official said (Rubin, Dec. 9).

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

If what Rubin reported is correct, it’s hard to imagine Turner will be reacquired by the Mets. It’s an odd statement. I still don’t fully understand it, since I don’t ever recall Justin laying up on ground balls or not hustling. I had heard over the last year that the team had concerns about his ‘focus,’ with one person referring to him as being part of the ‘just happy-to-be-here crowd.’ I never took that to be a judgement of his on-field hustle, though.




88 comments
MetsFan4Ever
MetsFan4Ever

I liked Justin and thought he was well liked by all.   I guess unless you are in the club house you do not know everything...but I liked him.  I do not see how you can do much better for a bench player who can play at least 4 or more positions.  Who will replace him?

openmind6
openmind6

But the man made one hell of a pie.

Chris Biehl
Chris Biehl

He's a decent bench guy at best, they are replaceable

vipregan
vipregan

Probably going to get a million dollar contract now. lol

Mike Boylan
Mike Boylan

I kind of liked him. I think be hit 2 hrs in the last week of the season. Good pinch hitter, okay fielder. Good bench player.

Generic Mets Fan
Generic Mets Fan

Who cares he was terrible. He also pretty much ended Santana's Mets career and is really annoying with the pies.

And for everyone saying his "disgraceful" it is for the Mets FO to bad mouth him.... Do you realize a lot of teams do the same, most notably the Boston Red Sox ?? And yeah, who would want to play for those bums right?

Stop complaining

Jamie Funktual Freund
Jamie Funktual Freund

This story ain't about Turner.  It's about being the club nobody wants to play for because they leak stupid stuff like this. 

cmetsfan
cmetsfan

He hit homerun against I think Cleveland this season, with an interesting swing, in an otherwise anemic offensive display by rest of team. Thought that was interesting.  

Hank Lee
Hank Lee

What I take away from this situation is that the Mets are looking to improve the production on their team. For the last few years, it has blown my mind that we have had a guy like Turner on the team.


Disclaimer: Justin seems like a good guy and a guy who has some class and a sense of humor, and he's certainly a very talented athlete to have made it to the level he is at.


Reality: He's a right-handed hitting backup infielder that lacks speed on the bases, lacks power, and is not a consistent hitter for average. His glove in the field is decent, but his range is not. He has a .684 career OPS. Last year he had a better average (.280) than he has had in the past, but that also probably leads to him getting into the 1+ million range in salary based on arbitration and his experience. The reality is, outside of his versatility, he's not productive with the bat, on the bases or in the field. He is Joe McEwing. The Mets really have no need for a guy at 1MM per year with his qualifications.



Michael Fichera
Michael Fichera

Another case of ostracizing players in order to get the fans on board with changing them.

Marcus Jensen
Marcus Jensen

Turner ought to take cues from Murphy how to stay focused and aggressive.

Joe Paulson
Joe Paulson

The ‘just happy-to-be-here crowd' business is okay -- I actually would admire some concern about that and trying to change the image of the team some. This would require them getting a new SS in my view personally, but it's a small way of sending that message. Don't really think it was just a cost cutting move -- I expect them to get another utility guy that costs a comparable amount.  But, the "lack of hustle" bit is a bad way to express it. It's a personal dis. Left a bad taste. Some other team should find him helpful.

clocktower
clocktower

And as far as the organization "leaking" the critcism, I'm sure that TC and the front office wanted everyone to know it was not about money, but effort.  You can't build a first rate organization without the highest expectations.  I applaud the move even though I liked the guy.

clocktower
clocktower

Justin Turner, while being the clubhouse clown (that I loved btw), got thrown out a second base cadillacing it out of the box late in the year and that same week or ten day period, was much closer on a couple plays that had he hustled should not have been close.  For all his "keeping the guys lose" you cannot hit .260 and get thrown out  - EVER  - for not hustling.

flmetsfan
flmetsfan

Besides his constant bid to be the clubhouse prankster (pie thrower), I was impressed by Turner (who knew that, barring major injury to a middle infielder, he really wasn't going to have the opportunity to play everyday).  Despite what you thought about him, I don't think anyone thought he dogged it out on the field.  I don't know what "team officials" Rubin has been talking to, but they obviously were looking for an excuse to jettison him.  The truth of the matter is, for Alderson, DiPodesta, and the rest of the brain trust, Turner didn't provide the right variables for their Sabermetrics.

Whatever.  He's not coming back, but I wish him well and expect him to be a role player on some other Major League club in the coming season.

Jean_Valjean
Jean_Valjean

I really don't have any issue with Turner's release, but it is unfortunate the comment related to his lack of hustle found its way to the media. Hopefully, there is no truth to the statement that a member of the front office, or ownership, is responsible. I can't think of a more damaging development to the perception of the team then the slander a former employee rather than own up to the fact that the Mets can no longer afford a $800K bench player.

philaw
philaw

Just thought I'd throw this in here....


Wilmer Flores (Bravos de Margarita – VWL) – Another week, and more of the same from the 22-year-old: more hits. He had multi-hit games Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and “slacked” Saturday by going 1-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to five games. He’s hit safely in nine of his last 10 games, and is hitting .429/.478/.714 with three doubles and three homers in his last 10 contests. In 20 games overall, he’s hit .385/.449/.551 with four doubles and three homers to go along with nine walks and nine strikeouts. He’s pretty batting average dependent (he owns a .166 isolated slugging) but he’s also hitting .385. If he had enough at bats to qualify, his .385 batting average would be second in the Venezuelan League and his on-base percentage would be tied for second.

philaw
philaw

Really......Justin Turner....................why are we wasting our time and energy on this....its a non-issue....Turner or another low performing, low impact bat...who really cares....there are tons of marginal bench players who can fill the role....get over it and talk issues that can have an impact on this club... 

robbie
robbie

Lack of hustle is BS, if that's the case Tejada should have been off the team a long time ago along with a bunch of others. Turner was a good utility player who could fill in at any position. He always did what was asked. Yes he clowned around a bit, but you need that to loosen up the clubhouse at times. The Mets will regret it at some point. He filled many roles for under $1m. Mets have given a lot more to less deserving players over the years.

11gilkey
11gilkey

I liked Turner, but whether you liked him or not, what's the point of leaking that kind of comment to the press. It's really bad form on the part of the Mets brass if it is true.  

straka82
straka82

I have no problem taking out the trash - guys been here for 4 years as part of the losing teams that mailed it in September/ August. There are dozens of Justin Turners we can pick up. Always seemed to be clowning and laughing. Maybe he wasnt serious about his job.

maxster
maxster

Thank goodness he's gone.

11gilkey
11gilkey

Turner was a nice right-handed bat off the bench who could adequately fill in at any infield position.  He always gave you a professional at-bat.  You need guys like Turner in the National League.  People always complain about him because Terry Collins probably played him too often and overexposed him but that's not his fault.  The guy is an NL utility player and a decent one at that.  I thought he was a gamer.  The statement about him not hustling is either B.S. or just another typical stupid comment by Mets brass after they decided not to re-sign him.  How many times will Turner come up with a big hit against the Mets when the Braves sign him?  I bet it will happen a couple times this season.  Who have the Mets signed that is an upgrade? Answer: No one.  For $800,000 this was a no brainer to keep him.  By all accounts he was a good clubhouse guy too.  

David Graf
David Graf

See ya...Never saw any value...typical Mets farmhand.

Kevin Connelly
Kevin Connelly

Always thought the same thing with this guy .... more concerned with his loose personality and shoving pies in people's faces rather than competing. Not a loss at all. 

Kevin J. Walsh
Kevin J. Walsh

Turner was all right. I'd rather have him coming off the bench than Quintanilla. The Mets don't want to pay a bench guy 800K, so he'll get close to that or maybe beat it elsewhere.

ElVPresidente
ElVPresidente

If you don't like a guy's clownish attitude how about getting in his face and telling him that? They let that pie thing go on 2 years past its expiration date.

As far as running hard, our captain coasts down to first like a 55-year-old jogger and nobody ever says anything.

MetsFan1962
MetsFan1962

I guess the front office expected more from Turner. In the end, he is just an average ball player and the club needs upgrades even for bench players.

mrdickey
mrdickey

Turner isn't really a great loss. He filled a role on a bad team, but if the Mets were any good, he'd be the number 32 guy or something like that. He wouldn't sniff the 25 man roster. He always got on my nerves, but that aside, I do wish him well. I will be kind of shocked if he actually gets a major league deal though.

MMIAA
MMIAA

He clowned around way too much. Once in a while is fine but it appeared he was never serious about his job.

jclgm
jclgm

Not sure about a lot of the comments on here sticking up for turner. Although I don't agree with a lot of the mets moves, I do agree with them parting ways with turner because of a lack of hustle. I saw it on numerous occasions. He had one good half a season with the mets other than that he's been just as useless as most of the other players on the big league roster.

Skyking
Skyking

Turner  seem to be good in the clutch and always seem to take advantage of his time playing. He didn't seem to be a slacker. He's been great for a bench player. My guess is the goat became a scape-goat and joined the likes of Ike and Tejada. Well you got to pass the blame around on someone to justify Terry's bad managing skills. Sad but true Terry gets rewarded for doing nothing and the goat gets cut loose.

James Turner
James Turner

Turner didn't ruin Santana's career what have you been smoking I never seen Turner not give 110 percent don't be a hater

seldomused
seldomused

@Jamie Funktual FreundCompletely agree.  This team bad mouths its players constantly - it's kinda embarrassing.  Turner was a great utility player and deserved 800K.  It's not surprising to me that Beltran said what he did...the team's operations is a joke.

seldomused
seldomused

@Hank LeeSo non tender him and let him walk.  No reason to tell people that they are letting him go because of a "propensity to not run out ground balls." 

Hank Lee
Hank Lee

@Michael Fichera I agree with that, and mentioned it when the story first broke. There was no need for them to do that - they could have simply said they were looking to go in another direction to fill their needs.

Jean_Valjean
Jean_Valjean

@philaw Why don't we note some of the other players in the VWL competing with Flores to get a sense of the competitive context? Oh look, it's Cory Aldridge, a career nobody who batted .230 in the Mexican League in 2013, with a .380 average,  .649 SLG, 1.126 OBS.


Yep, I'm really confident about the ability of Flores to adjust Jose Fernandez in 2014. And let's not forget, Flores has 'added quickness.'

gbaked
gbaked

@11gilkeyIt should be pointed out, that the article that states that has no quotes in it... and the source is not even a high ranking met official, its just a "Mets Official" 


So who knows how true this really is.

mrdickey
mrdickey

@11gilkey 

I didn't care for Turner as a player but I agree about the Mets leaking this garbage. It doesn't reflect well on the organization if true. They have had issues with "leaks" and crap like this for a while.

They need to keep their mouths shut and improve this team. You can take out the trash professionally without demeaning players and potentially costing them jobs outside of the organization. 

flmetsfan
flmetsfan

@11gilkeyThanks for making a good observation.  Too many people who comment here have their petty likes and dislikes.  It's refreshing to read a comment like this in the intellectual wasteland known as the MetsBlog comment section.

xgamblorx
xgamblorx

@Kevin J. Walsh The Mets non-tendered Quintanilla as well. It's not a decision between the two of them.

Skyking
Skyking

@MetsFan1962 I think a lot of this is excuses to cover up those who got cut. Granted some didn't deserve to be brought back but the team had it's mine set of going to arbitration with the least amount to free up money including counting on Davis and Murphy gone.

dolemite
dolemite

@SkykingHe had that stretch where he was playing a lot in 2011 where he was good in the clutch (51 RBI)...last year and the year before he was awful (19 and 16 ribs).  He was only 5/33 pinch hitting, he doesn't have enough power and he doesn't walk much.  I like Justin but the Mets can definitely improve on his slot. (Josh Satin, Wilmer Flores)

seldomused
seldomused

@Hank Lee@Michael FicheraThat would make sense from a PR perspective.  But this is the Mets we're talking about here.  It's never the organization's fault...it's always the players.  At this point I won't be surprised one day if they say things about Wright.

philaw
philaw

@Jean_Valjean @philaw  Agreed that prospects are just that, prospects...but Flores's minor league numbers are really good, and they have gotten better each year he has progressed, meaning he is maturing.  


Mets need to give Flores, Legares, Puello, TDA the opportunity to play together and develop alongside of Wright and Murph.  Giving them the oppurtunity to play everyday at the MLB level will do wonders to their development if we stick by them.  I think its fair to say we will not make playoffs next year, so why not allow these kids the chance to develop and be ready for 2015 when the SS and 1B FA class will have some quality.  By then Harvey will be back, Thor will have gotten some MLB time, Colon will be trade bait and our rotations will be one of the youngest and strongest in MLB.   

Skyking
Skyking

@dolemite@Skyking  I can agree up to a point of that stretch but during that stretch he was playing hurt. I do feel the team needs many positions to improve and the question would be who they dumpster dive for. Turner you know what you were  getting and is cheap. I really feel the team wanted to go with least amount of arbitration eligible. I still would bring back Turner. I see Satin backing up 3b and 1b possibly getting a shot in the outfield some time. Flores spending fulltime in AAA not a bench spot in the majors. Turner not returning still leaves question marks for the bench up the middle with 2b and ss.

Jean_Valjean
Jean_Valjean

@philaw @Jean_Valjean I'm all for giving Flores the opportunity to get 500 ABs at 2B, 1B, or if Wright is injured, at 3B. Then we'll see what we have by 2015.